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Full text of "Human bullets : a soldier's story of Port Arthur"

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3 1822016070989 





L 31822016070989 

Central University Library 

University of California, San Diego 
Note: This item is subject to recall after two weeks 

Date Due 

1 5 I9S4 

JAN 6 1994 

Cl 39 (1/91) 

385 Wash'n St. Boston 













Published October iqarj 
































MUCH is being said just now about the Japan- 
ese as a war-loving nation, likely to become 
aggressors in the struggle for the control of the 
Pacific. This little book of Lieutenant Sakurai's 
will, perhaps, help to set us right in regard to the 
spirit in which the Japanese soldier fights. The 
story was told originally, not for a foreign audience, 
but to give to his own countrymen a true picture of 
the lives and deaths, the joys and sorrows, of the 
men who took Port Arthur. Its enthusiastic recep- 
tion in Japan, where forty thousand copies were 
sold within the first year, is the justification of 
translator and editor in offering it to the American 

The tale, so simply told, so vivid, so character- 
istically Japanese in spirit and in execution, is the 
work of a man of twenty-five who sees the world 
with all the glow and courage and enthusiasm of 
youth. Its honesty speaks in every line and word. 

If, as seems now possible, the great new lesson 
set for the Twentieth Century is to be the meeting 
and mutual comprehension of Eastern and Western 


civilization and ideals, there can be no better text- 
book for us Americans than " Human Bullets," a 
revelation of the inmost feelings of a Japanese 
soldier of remarkable intelligence, spirituality, and 
power of expression. No better opportunity can be 
found for the study of Japanese psychology and for 
the gaining of a sympathetic insight into what the 
loyal sons of Japan love to call " Yamato-Damashii," 
the Spirit of Old Japan. 

A. M. B. 


RECENTLY a retired officer of the Russian 
army and a correspondent of the "Russ" 
came to call upon me. When war broke out be- 
tween Russia and Japan he was at Harbin; soon 
afterward he was summoned to Port Arthur and 
set out thither. But by that time communication 
had been cut off by our army, and in consequence 
he was obliged to return to Vladivostock. Accord- 
ing to my visitor's story the railway trains from the 
Russian capital were loaded with decorations and 
prize money, and the officers and men traveling in 
the same trains were in the highest of spirits, as 
if they had been going through a triumphal arch 
after a victory accomplished. They seemed to be- 
lieve that the civilized Russian army was to crush 
into pieces the half-civilized forces of Japan and 
that the glittering decorations and jingling gold 
were soon to be theirs. They did not entertain in 
the least the feeling with which a man enters a 
tiger's den or knocks at death's door. The Japan- 
ese fighters, on the contrary, marched bravely to 
the front, fully prepared to suffer agonies and sacri- 

ix ' 

fice their lives for their sire and their country, with 
the determination of the true old warrior who went 
to war ready to die, and never expected to come 
back alive. The Russian army lacked harmony and 
cooperation between superiors and inferiors. Gen- 
erals were haughty, and men weary; while officers 
were rich, soldiers were left hungry. Such rela- 
tions are something like those between dogs and 
monkeys. 1 On the other hand, the Japanese army 
combined the strictest of discipline with the close 
friendship of comrades, as if they were all parents 
and sons, or brothers. Viewed from this stand- 
point, the success or failure of both armies might 
have been clearly foreseen even before the first 
battle. My Russian guest spoke thus, and his 
observations seem to the point. 

The army of our country is strict in discipline 
and yet harmonious through its higher and lower 
ranks. The soldiers vie with each other in offering 
themselves on the altar of their country, the spirit 
of self-sacrifice prevails to a marked degree. This 
is the true characteristic of the race of Yamato. 
And in the siege of Port Arthur this sublime na- 
tional spirit showed itself especially vigorous. 
Materially calculated, the loss and damage to our 
besieging army was enormous. If, however, the 
spiritual activity this great struggle entailed is 

1 Dogs and monkeys are proverbially unfriendly in Japan, 
as dogs and cats are with us. 

taken into consideration, our gain was also im- 
mense, it has added one great glory to the history 
of our race. Even the lowest of soldiers fought in 
battle-fields with unflinching courage, and faced 
death as if it were going home, 1 and yet the brav- 
est were also the tenderest. Many a time they must 
have shed secret tears, overwhelmed with emotion, 
while standing in the rainfall of bullets. They re- 
spected and obeyed the dictates at once of honor 
and duty in all their service, and shouted Banzai 
to His Imperial Majesty at the moment of death. 
Their display of the true spirit of the Japanese 
Samurai is radically different from the behavior 
of men who appear on the fighting line with only 
the prospect of decorations and money before their 

Lieutenant Sakurai is the younger brother of 
my friend Mr. Hikoichiro Sakurai. He had a per- 
sonal share in the tragedy of Port Arthur and is a 
brave soldier with no little literary talent. I had 
read with interest the lieutenant's letters written 
while at the front, giving an inside view as well as 
an outside one of the war and describing the deli- 
cate workings of the human heart at such a time. 
Later I was very sorry to hear that he had been 
seriously wounded in the first general assault. He 
has written out the facts of the siege, with the left 

1 "Death is returning home." Quotation from the Chinese 


hand spared him by the enemy's shot. He tells 
us grand stories and sad stories, portrays the pa- 
thetic human nature in which fortitude and tears 
are woven together, and depicts to us the great 
living drama of Port Arthur, with his sympathetic 
pen. I must congratulate him on his success. 
To make clear the true cause of the unbroken series 
of successes vouchsafed to our Imperial Army, to 
make known to the public the loyalty and bravery 
of many a nameless hero, and thus to comfort the 
spirits of those countless patriots whose bones lie 
bleaching in the wilderness of Liaotung, is a kind 
of work for which we must largely depend upon 
such men as Lieutenant Sakurai, who have fought 
and who can write. He has blazed the way with 
marked success in this most interesting field of war 


April, 1906. 


THE Russo-Japanese War! This tremendous 
struggle is now happily at an end, and the 
hundreds of thousands of brave and loyal officers 
and men have come back from the fields with 
laurels on their heads, and welcomed by a grateful 
nation. What a triumphant air ! How happy they 
look! But in their hearts is something behind the 
joy. At the back of their smiles lie hid the deep 
sorrow and the often forced-back tears for the mul- 
titudes of their comrades who, for the cause of their 
country and of His Majesty, have turned their 
bodies into the earth of lone Manchuria and can- 
not share in the delight of the triumphal return. 

Toward the end of the Sinico- Japanese War, a 
certain detachment was ordered home, and before 
sailing paid a final visit to the graves of their dead 
comrades. One private stepped out of the ranks 
and stroked the tombstone of his special chum, 
saying with falling tears : 

"Dear Kato! I am going back to Japan. We 
have faced wind and rain together and fought in 
the hail-storm of bullets together, and you died 


instead of me, and I am going home in safety. I 
feel as if I were not doing right. I am very sad to 
leave you here alone but be happy, dear Kato, 
Liaotung Peninsula is now ours! Your bones are 
buried in the Japanese soil. Be at ease. Under- 
stand, Kato? I have to go." 

He talked as if to a living friend. Every word 
was from the bottom of his heart, trying to com- 
fort the departed spirit of his patriotic comrade. 
His loving bosom was full of a sense of the eternal 
separation of the living from the dead. He was 
silent and in tears for a while, then wiped his eyes 
and cheeks, offered water to the grave from his 
water bottle, and reluctantly resumed his place in 
the ranks. 

That detachment who sailed home from Liao- 
tung Peninsula a decade ago learned on their way 
that the peninsula was wrested from them. Poor 
Kato, who died with a smile for his country, did he 
die in vain? And was his heroism all for nothing? 
The rage and disappointment of his comforter may 
well be imagined, for after all loyal Kato's ashes 
were not buried in the Japanese soil. 

For ten years we had been waiting and prepar- 
ing for a chance of chastising the unjust. When 
the invincible Imperial Army first landed on that 
battle-ground of ten years before, how eagerly they 
must have been welcomed by the spirits of their 
dead friends who could not find a permanent rest 


buried in a place which was once theirs and then 
was not. When I landed on the peninsula and 
printed my footsteps on its earth, I cried out with 
a spontaneous joy: "This is also Japanese soil I 
Bought by the blood of our brave fellows at arms ! " 

I paid constant attention while at the front to 
find traces of those buried there during the pre- 
vious war, but could not find even a rotten piece of 
wood marking such a spot. But I felt sure that 
their spirits were always with us and guiding us in 
the battles, stirring us up to do our very best for the 
country and for the sire. 

"Beneath this your elder brothers' ashes are 
buried! Above here your comrades' spirits must 
be soaring, unable to find an eternal place of rest! 
Men die, but their souls do not perish. Your com- 
rades in the world beyond are fighting with you in 
this great struggle!" were the words with which I 
used to stimulate men under my command. 

Through the abundant grace of Heaven and the 
illustrious virtue of His Majesty, the Imperial 
forces defeated the great enemy both on land and 
sea. Our arms were crowned with an unparalleled 
success and our country with awe-inspiring dignity 
and world-wide glory. And the peninsula wrested 
from us is once more under our care, the neglected 
graves of those who perished in the unsuccessful 
struggle ten years ago are once more being properly 
attended to. The story of how over one million 


men left their homes and country, ready and will- 
ing to die for the great cause, and of how they 
passed eighteen months of hardship and privation 
among the mountains of Liaotung, on the plains 
of Manchuria, and on the waters of the Yellow 
Sea and the Sea of Japan, will forever be told to 
posterity in the history of our country. 

The record of the great Russo-Japanese War 
will be written by the pens of able historians and 
writers. I simply as an insignificant fighter who 
took part in what may be called some of the hard- 
est and ugliest battles in the annals of warfare and 
of strategy, of all times and of all nations, propose 
herein to describe with a hand not at all familiar 
with the holding of a pen, recollections of what I 
personally experienced and observed in the siege 
of Port Arthur, so that those who have not been in 
a similar position may picture to themselves the 
actual scene as best they can. 




IN the second month of the thirty-seventh year of 
Meiji, 1 the diplomatic relations between Japan 
and Russia were severed, and the two nations began 
hostilities. At the outset our navy dealt a stunning 
blow to the Russian war vessels at Chemulpo and 
off Port Arthur. His August Majesty issued a pro- 
clamation of war. Mobilization orders were issued 
to different divisions of the army. At this moment 
we, the soldiers of Japan, all felt our bones crackle 
and our blood boil up, ready to give vent to a long- 
stored energy. Mobilization ! How sweetly the word 
gladdened our hearts, how impatiently we waited to 
be ordered to the front ! What division was mobilized 
to-day ? What one will have its turn to-morrow ? 
How long shall we have to wait? May the order 
come at once! May we find ourselves in the field 
without delay! Not that we wished to distin- 
guish ourselves and win honors in the early battles, 
but that we hated the idea of arriving at the scene 
after other divisions had borne all the burden of the 

1 Meiji (Enlightenment). The era beginning with the reign of 
the present emperor. 


first struggle. But what could we do without Im- 
perial orders? We were soldiers always ready to 
"jump into water and fire at the Great Sire's word 
of command." 1 We had to wait for the word "Ad- 
vance!" How eagerly we watched for that single 
word, for that order of mobilization, as drought- 
suffering farmers watch for a rain-cloud in the sky! 
We offered "mobilization prayers" as they offer 
"rain prayers." Wherever we went, whomsoever 
we met, we talked of nothing but mobilization. At 
last about the middle of April, the month of cherry- 
blossoms, 2 emblematic of the spirit of Japan's war- 
riors, our division received this longed-for order. 
Ordered to the front ! Our garrison was granted the 
golden opportunity of untrammeled activity. I was 
at that time the standard-bearer of the regiment. 
I said to our commander on hearing this glad news : 
"Hearty congratulations, Colonel; we have just 
received the order." 

Upon which Colonel Aoki smiled a smile inde- 
scribably happy as if he welcomed the order and 
exclaimed, "It has come at last!" 

That was the happiest day we had ever experi- 
enced, and I could not help going around, half in 
frenzy, to the officers of all the companies to carry 
the news to them. A mysterious kind of spiritual 

1 Quoted from a war-song. 

2 The cherry-blossom is the flower of the warrior, because of 
its beauty, its short life, and its glorious death. 


electricity seemed to permeate the whole garrison, 
composed of the flower of the "Land of the Gods." 
Every one, both officers and privates, seemed ready 
to fight the whole of Russia single-handed. Our 
souls were already on the great stage of Liaotung, 
while our bodies still remained in our own country. 

The men of the first and second Reserve were 
none the less anxious and quick to gather round their 
standard. Some of them were so poor that their 
wives and children seemed likely to starve without 
them, others came from the sick beds of old, dying 
parents; all must have had cares and anxieties to 
detain them. But now the emergency had arisen, 
and the time had come for them to " offer them- 
selves courageously for the State." l What a privi- 
lege, they all thought, for a man to be permitted to 
give his life for the nation's cause ! When we saw 
them swarm together day after day, our hearts 
bounded with redoubled joy and strength. 

Here is a sad story of this time. Nakamura, a 
private of the first Reserve, had an invalid wife and 
a baby of three. They were extremely poor, and 
the family would starve without the husband. Of 
course, however, the family trouble had no place 
in their minds before a national crisis. On the eve 

1 Quoted from the Imperial Rescript on Education. This may 
be called the Japanese Gospel on Education, and is read with all 
possible tokens of reverence in all Japanese schools on all cere- 
monial occasions. For full text, see Appendix A. 


of her husband's departure, the poor emaciated 
woman gathered all her scanty strength, went to 
the town near by and bought two go l of rice and 
one sen 2 worth of fuel. This handful of grain and 
bundle of firewood, are they really as insignificant 
as they seem to be? Nay, the two go of rice and 
the sen worth of wood were for the loving wife's 
farewell banquet 3 in honor of her husband's great 
opportunity. And yet at the time of separation, 
the wife was sick and the child starving, and the 
husband going to give his life to his country! In 
the morning, before daybreak, Nakamura bade 
good-by to wife and baby, and without a farewell 
from his neighbors hastened bravely to his post. 
Such was only one out of hundreds of thousands 
of similar heartrending instances. The kind and 
sympathetic people left at home at once began to 
relieve these unfortunate families, so that the men 
at the front could devote their whole attention and 
energy to their duties as soldiers. 

When the men of the first and second Reserve 
arrived in their garrison, some of them were re- 
jected on account of insufficient health or physique. 
How sad and crestfallen they looked when thus 
rejected! "Please, can't you take me in some way? 

1 Go, a measure of capacity equal to a little more than a gill. 

2 Sen, equal to half a cent. 

3 Rice is a banquet to people so poor that they live ordinarily 
on millet. 


They gave me such a great send-off when I left the 
village, they banzaied 1 me over and over again 
when my train started. I came here determined 
not to go home again. How can I stand the dis- 
grace of going back to my neighbors as a useless 
failure ? Do please take me with you," they would 
entreat. The officers in charge had great difficulty 
in soothing and comforting these "failures" and 
persuading them to go home. 

"Good luck to you! Your family will be well 
taken care of. All right, eh?" 

"All right, all right! I will bring you a dozen or 
two of the Russkies's heads when I come back!" 

"My dear Saku, don't die of an illness; if you 
die, die on the battle-field. Don't worry about your 

"I am ready not to tread on the soil of Japan 
again with this pair of legs. 2 Be happy with me, 
when you hear that I died in battle." 

"Thank you all for seeing me off so kindly. I 
will return your kindness by distinguishing myself 
in the field." 

Words like these sounded at the doorways of 
the barracks everywhere. The men anxious to 
serve; the nation to help their families; was this 
not the secret of our splendid victory? 

1 "Banzai!" " Hurrah 1" (Literally, "Ten thousand years!") 

* This refers, not as it may seem, to the thought of coming back 

disabled, but to the ideaof returning without the bodyafter death. 


We were busy night and day until the mobilizing 
was completed. Some were assigned to field regi- 
ments, others were put on the waiting-list, and soon 
we were ready to start at a moment's notice. 

Those who were left at home to fill up vacancies 
later on were sorely disappointed, and entreated 
their officers to allow them to join the fighting regi- 
ments at once. Their comrades had to comfort 
and encourage, cheer and praise these disappointed 
men, explaining to them that the war with Russia 
was not likely to come to an end in six months or 
even in a year; that their turn was sure to come 
before long; that it was not at all a disgrace to be 
on the waiting-list, on the contrary that they were 
to have the honor of dealing the finishing stroke to 
the enemy. 

After our regiment was ready to start, one sad 
affair took place. Togo Miyatake was one of those 
who were lodged in a Buddhist temple called Kwan- 
nonji to wait for a later summons. He was in good 
health and excellent spirits. When leaving home 
he had promised his parents, brothers, and friends 
that he would be among the first to help win battles. 
Now, instead of dying in the field, he had to wait, 
doing nothing. He did not know when he would be 
sent. This was too great a humiliation for him to 
bear. He thought it better to kill himself, so that 
his spirit, freed from the shackles of the body, might 
be at the front to work with his living comrades. 


Left in such a situation as he was, poor Togo's 
narrow but strong sense of patriotism made him 
resolve on suicide as the most honorable way of 
escape. Late one night when his friends were fast 
asleep he scribbled a line of farewell to this effect: 

"I am more sorry than I can possibly bear not 
to be at the front with the others. No one would take 
me in spite of my entreaties. I will prove my loyalty 
with death." 

Thus prepared, he drew a dagger from a white- 
wood sheath 1 and cut across the abdomen, whis- 
pering Banzai to the Emperor in a shower of tears. 
This took place on the i2th of May in a lonely 
corner of an old tottering temple, when the sound 
of rain dripping from the eaves made the sad scene 
still sadder. But good Heaven seemed to take com- 
passion on such a faithful soldier. His friends 
awoke and came to the rescue. He was sent to a 
hospital. His wound healed in due time, he was 
discharged, and later he was allowed to go to the 
front. Cold reason may call this man a fool, or a 
fanatic, but his heart was pure and true. This inci- 
dent testifies to the childlike simplicity of devotion 
that prevailed throughout the whole army. 

Russia prided herself on her vast territory and 
immense soldiery, but her people did not believe 
in the Czar's virtue. They were oppressed and 

1 The sheath and hilt of whitewood indicates the ceremonial 
dagger used in committing hara-kiri. 


trampled upon by his ministers and officials. 
They were therefore not at all anxious to support 
the government in this war. Cossacks had to drive 
the unwilling men to Manchuria at the point of the 
bayonet. Yes, Russian fighters were brave and 
strong, but lacking in morale, the first requisite of 
a successful war. We, on the contrary, had an in- 
vincible spirit called Yamato-damashii, 1 disciplined 
under the strict rules of military training. 

All the manifold details of business connected 
with mobilization were prosecuted with mechanical 
exactness and promptitude, as had been previously 
planned out. Everything was now ready and we 
were all eagerly waiting for the day of departure. 

What an exciting happy time we had, while thus 
waiting and watching! We stroked our arms, itch- 
ing for action, sharpened our swords, pictured to 
ourselves what we would do on the actual battle- 
field. Many a soldier must have flourished his 
glittering sword, as I did, and smiled significantly 
in the midnight moonlight of the quiet garrison 

When all necessary preparations were finished, 
our colonel put us through an armed inspection. 
The large drill-ground from one end to the other 

1 Yamato-damashii, the spirit of Yamato, an expression that 
contains in itself the idea of all that is heroic in Japanese his- 
tory and character. Yamato was the province first conquered by 
Jimmu Tenno, and where he established his empire. The name 
is still used for that province, and poetically, to mean all Japan. 

was filled with thousands of men and officers, each 
provided with his outfit, arms, food, clothing 
and so on. Soon they were to brave, shoulder to 
shoulder, flying shot and thundering noise, pesti- 
lential rain and poisonous fog, eating together and 
sleeping together as comrades and brothers in dan- 
ger and privation. 

To the stirring sound of trumpets, our famous 
regimental flag was brought to the centre and an 
imposing ceremony of welcome to the flag was con- 
ducted by Colonel Aoki. The lives of the brave 
three thousand gathered round him were all in 
his hands. He has since told me that he was over- 
whelmed with a sense of great responsibility and 
with a feeling of proud exhilaration when he saw 
on that occasion how eager and ready they all 
were. At the conclusion of this ceremony our com- 
mander gave us a speech of instruction, in such 
thrilling words as made us bite our lips and tremble 
with emotion. 

At the conclusion of such an armed inspection 
a few days later, Brigadier- General Yamanaka, 
then in command of our brigade, gave us a written 
piece of advice, in which the following words were 

"The flag of your regiment has already won a 
glorious name in the Japan- China War. Its fame 
is impressed upon the minds of all. You have the 
responsibility of keeping this honor unsullied. You 


are in duty bound to add to its splendor. And 
whether you will do so or not, solely depends upon 
your determination. Remember, that if you once 
bring a spot of disgrace upon the flag an opportu- 
nity of washing it away will not easily come. Do 
not destroy by a single failure the honor which your 
flag has retained since its first battle. I deem it my 
highest glory to share in ups and downs, to live 
and die with you officers and men beneath this 
historic flag. 

"We are the main support 1 of His Majesty, 
guardians of the safety of our country. The only 
way we can fulfill our grave responsibility is always 
to remember the five items of his August Rescript ; 2 
to do our duty with sincere devotion ; and to put into 
practice the sworn resolutions of our hearts. Our 
Emperor has now given us another instruction, 
saying, 3 'We rely upon your loyalty and bravery 
in achieving this end (victory) and keeping un- 
sullied the glory of our Empire.' How shall we 
respond to these gracious words of His Majesty? 
I with you shall put forth every energy to bring 

1 Koto, the Japanese word used here, means, literally, " arms 
and legs." 

2 Quoted from the Imperial Rescript to the Army and Navy 
upon which the moral education of the military and naval men 
of Japan is founded. For the full text, and the five articles, see 
Appendix B. 

* Quoted from the Imperial Declaration of War against 
Russia. For full text see Appendix C. 

this great struggle to a speedy and successful ter- 
mination, so that we may make good the nation's 
trust in us, and relieve His Gracious Heart of 
anxiety. If we can thus secure for our country a 
permanent peace, our humble efforts will be amply 

Our already grave position was made tenfold 
graver by this implicit trust put on us by His 
Majesty and the nation. How did we bear this 
tremendous weight of duty and responsibility? 


ABOUT a month after the mobilization was 
ordered, another happy day came to us; the 
2ist of May, a day we shall never forget to the end 
of our lives. 

While we had been waiting for this day, we had 
heard news of repeated victories of our forces in and 
around Chiu-lien-cheng. 

We were frantically joyous over the news, but at 
the same time could not help feeling a foolish 
anxiety. "If they were making such steady pro- 
gress out there, might not the war be at an end by 
the time we were starting for the front ? A certain 
division was to go in a few days. When should we 
have our turn ? While we were kept idle, other divi- 
sions might monopolize all the victories there could 
be. No room would be left for us unless we hurried 
up ! " So, therefore, when we received the welcome 
order, there was none who was not quite ready to 
start at once. 

On that long-looked-for day, we were ordered to 
assemble on the parade ground at six o'clock in the 


Our joy was boundless, the time had come at 
last for the greatest action of our lives. "The brave 
man is not without tears, but those tears are not 
shed in the moment of separation," so the expres- 
sion goes. Of course, we were as ready and will- 
ing to welcome the worst as the best, but because 
of this very resolve and expectation we could not 
help thinking of eternal separation, parent from 
child, man from wife, and brother from sister. 
"Tears even in the eyes of an oni" l How could we 
be without unseen tears, though valiantly forced 
back under a cheerful smile! 

On the night previous to departure, I took out 
my old friends' photographs to look at, made tidy 
the drawers of my desk, and so arranged everything 
that my affairs would be quite clear to my surviv- 
ing friends. And then I went to sleep my last sleep 
on the mats peacefully and contentedly. 

At three o'clock in the morning, the cannon roared 
three times from the tower of the castle. I jumped 
out of bed, cleansed my person with pure water, 
donned the best of my uniforms, bowed to the 
east where the great Sire resides, solemnly read his 
Proclamation of War, and told His Majesty that his 
humble subject was just starting to the front. When 
I offered my last prayers the last, I then believed 
they were before the family shrine of my ances- 
tors, I felt a thrill going all through me, as if they 

1 Oni, a goblin or devil. 


were giving me a solemn injunction, saying, "Thou 
art not thy own. For His Majesty's sake, thou shalt 
go to save the nation from calamity, ready to bear 
even the crushing of thy bones, and the tearing of 
thy flesh. Disgrace not thy ancestors by an act of 
cowardice." My family and relatives gathered 
around me to give me a farewell cup of sake, and 
to congratulate me on my joyous start. 

" Don't worry at all about your home affairs 
put into practice all your long-cherished good reso- 
lutions. For your death your father is quite ready. 
Add a flower of honor to our family name by dis- 
tinguished service to the country." This from my 

"Please, sir, don't be anxious about me. This 
is the greatest opportunity a soldier can possibly 
have. Only, do take good care of your delicate 
self." This from myself. 

Such an exchange of sentiments between father 
and son must have taken place almost simulta- 
neously in a great many families. 

When the time had come for me to start, I took 
up and put on the sword that had been placed in 
the family shrine, drank the farewell cup of water 1 

1 The farewell cup of water (mizu-sakazuki, " water-wine- 
cup"), to which reference is made frequently in Lieutenant 
Sakurai's story, is a religious ceremony, probably of Shinto origin, 
of the nature of a sacrament. At the moment of death, the near- 
est relative present administers water to the dying person, an 
act of purification for the next life. Hence, on the departure of 


my dear mother had filled, and left my home with 
light heart and light feet, expecting to cross its 
threshold no more. 

One officer was just going to the front in high 
spirits when, on the night previous to his departure, 
his beloved wife died, leaving a little baby behind. 
He had, however, no time to see her laid in her last 
place of rest. Bravely, though with tears hardly 
suppressed, he started early in the morning. Private 
sorrow must give way before national calamity, 
but human nature remains the same forever. This 
unfortunate officer's sad dreams in camp must 
have frequently wandered around the pole 1 mark- 
ing her burial-place, and about the pillow of the 
baby crying after its mother. 

any member of the family on an errand to which he has vowed 
his life, the farewell cup that is given him is not the sake, typi- 
fying joy and good-fellowship, but water, the symbol of purifica- 
tion. In one of the Japanese classical dramas, Taikoki, the 
scenes of which are laid in the time of Hideyoshi, the Taiko 
(1582-98 A. D.), a young man is about to depart on a forlorn 
hope, with the certainty of ending his life in battle. He is be- 
trothed, and before he leaves his home the wedding is cele- 
brated ; but the marriage cup which bride and bridegroom share 
is filled with water instead of sake, as a sign that the union is 
not for this life but for the next. The bridegroom leaves immedi- 
ately after the ceremony and dies fighting; the young wife at once 
commits suicide and rejoins him in the new life to which they 
pledged themselves in the "death-cup" of their wedding-day. 
1 The mark over a grave, for a year after burial, is a wooden 
post, cut square, and bearing the name, and the posthumous 
Buddhistic name, of the deceased. At the end of the year, a 
stone is substituted for the post. 

At 6 A. M. our regiment was drawn up in array, 
the regimental flag was welcomed to the solemn 
and majestic tune of " Ashibiki," and we all looked 
expectantly toward our colonel, who was to guide 
us through "savage sands and barbarian winds." l 
The brave soldiers felt themselves to be the hands 
and feet of the commander. We had all said good- 
by to parents and homes : henceforward, our com- 
mander was to be our father, the boundless plain 
of Manchuria our home. Words utterly fail to 
describe that sense of mutual dependence which we 
felt at this moment toward each other, the one to 
command and the other to obey. 

The colonel gazed down the ranks from one 
end to the other and read aloud his last instruc- 
tions before leaving the home-land. Then at his 
initiative we banzaied His Majesty the Highest 
Commander three times over at the tops of our 

"Ah! a group of strong warriors has arisen! 
they rival each other in achievements of arms at the 
word of our great Sire. Where they go, the heavens 
will open and the earth crumble!" 2 

"First battalion, forward march!" 

This was the first word of command Colonel Aoki 
gave his subordinates at their departure to the front. 
His voice confirmed our resolution to go forward, 

1 A classical Chinese expression meaning war. 
1 Quoted from a war-song. 


and brave, at his order, the strongest parapet or 
the fiercest fire of the enemy. 

Our long-drawn, serpent-like regiment, sent off 
with the hearty and sincere Banzai of the people, 
began to move on step by step. The noise of our 
marching feet becoming fainter and fainter in the 
distance, the sound of our rifles and swords softly 
rubbing against our clothes, how gallant and stir- 
ring these must have sounded to the enthusiastic 
ears of the nation! The trumpet that resounded 
from near and far was our "good-by" to our dear 
countrymen. Old and young, waving the national 
flag and shouting Banzai in thunder-like chorus, 
made us the more determined to deserve their 
gratitude. Whenever in the field we made a furious 
assault, we felt as if this chorus of Banzai were surg- 
ing from behind to stimulate and encourage us. 
Our own war-cry may well be said to have been an 
echo of this national enthusiasm. In the morning 
on the battle-field amid ear-rending cannon roar, 
in the chilly evening of a field encampment, this 
cry of Banzai from the heart of the whole nation 
was always present with us. 

My humble self was honored with the important 
duty of bearing the regimental standard. The low 
bows and enthusiastic cheers at the sight of the 
flag, from crowds of people standing by the road- 
sides, stirred my spirits more and more, and also 
made me fear lest I might fail in my duty. Dur- 


ing our march, Mr. Kojima, who had instructed 
me for five years in the high school, noticed me, 
came forward two or three steps, from among the 
watching crowd, with overwhelming joy in his 
face, and whispered in my ear: "Strive hard, Sa- 

This brief but forcible exhortation from my kind 
teacher rang in my ears throughout the campaign 
and urged me to be worthy of his teaching. 

War-songs sung by groups of innocent kinder- 
garten-children how they shook our hearts from 
the foundation ! Old women bowed with age would 
rub rosaries between their palms, muttering prayers, 
and saying: "Our great Buddha will take care of 
you! Do your best for us, Mr. Soldiers." How 
pathetically their zeal impressed us! 

Our transports, the Kagoshima Maru, the Ya- 
wata Maru, etc., were seen at anchor in the offing. 
The men began to go on board. Sampans, going 
and coming, covered the sea. Along the shore, the 
hills were black with men, women, and children 
from village and town, waving the national flag and 
crying Banzai at the tops of their voices. The fare- 
well hand-shake of our colonel and the Governor of 
Ehime-Ken added to the impressive scene. 

When all were on board and a farewell flag had 
been run up, our transports began to move on 
whither ? To the west to the west leaving 
dark volumes of smoke behind! Suddenly clouds 


gathered in the sky the rain began to fall, first 
slowly and then with violence! 

Eager brethren! enthusiastic countrymen! Did 
you expect us soon to return in triumphal proces- 
sion, when you saw us off; thousands of us starting 
in good cheer and high spirits? 


WITH the nation's Banzai still ringing in 
our ears, our imaginations flying to stu- 
pendous fights over mountains and across rivers, 
we were being carried far toward the west. Where 
were we going ? Where to land ? What was to be 
the scene of our fighting? All this nobody knew 
except the colonel as commander of our transpor- 
tation, and the captains of the transports, to whom 
secret orders had been given. Even they did not 
know much at the time of our starting they 
were to receive instructions from time to time. 
Were we going to Chennam-pu, or to the mouth of 
the Yalu, or toward Haicheng, or to the siege of 
Port Arthur? We talked only of our guesses and 
imaginings. But the place of landing or of fighting 
did not matter much to us we were happy at the 
thought of coming nearer and nearer to the time 
when we could display all the courage we had, at 
the word of command from His Majesty and at the 
beckoning of our regimental flag. 

Toward the dusk of the evening on the 2ist, 
we passed through the Strait of Shimonoseki. We 


took a last view of our beloved Nippon and felt 
the pang of separation. 

"Fare thee well, my land of Yamato! Farewell, 
my sweet home!" 

That night the Sea of Japan was calm and the 
shower of the day had dispersed the clouds. All 
was quiet; the thousands of soldiers slept soundly. 
Which way did their dreams fly, this first evening 
of their expedition to the east ? or to the west ? 
The gentle waves, the smooth motion of the engines, 
an occasional long-drawn breath only added to the 
calm of the scene. The next morning we found the 
sky well wiped without leaving half a cloud it 
was truly Japan's weather. All the ships at this 
moment were hurrying on at full speed off the Isle 
of Mutsure, sighting the hills of Tsushima far away 
in the distance, when, lo! a hawk 1 descended to the 
deck of our transport. The men chased him hither 
and thither and rejoiced at this good omen. For 
some time the bird remained with us, now perching 
on the mast, now flying about over the ship. After 
blessing the future of the brave officers and men in 
this way, he flew to the next transport to do the same 
errand of cheering up their hearts. 

Very soon time began to hang heavy on our hands. 
To break the monotony of the long voyage, an ap- 

1 The hawk is always the symbol of victory and is associated 
in the early legends with Jimmu Tenno's victorious progress 
through Yamato. 


peal to our "hidden accomplishments" was the last 
but most effective resource. Some would recount 
their past experiences, others tell ghost stories or 
jokes, still others recite or sing popular love-epi- 
sodes, each joining a little group according to his 
taste or inclination. Every now and then there ap- 
peared one bold enough to try the rustic dance of 
wrestlers, or one clever enough to imitate a profes- 
sional story-teller, using his knapsack as a book- 
rest and playing with a fan in his hand, just as a 
professional reciter would. 

Cheers and applause resounded through the small 
heaven and earth of the steamer, and the performers' 
faces were full of pride and elation. Others now 
began to emulate, and from among men piled up 
like potatoes, story-tellers, conjurers, and perform- 
ers of various tricks would come forward to amuse 
the audience. 

Proceeding to the front to fight, and to fight 
never to return, all on this voyage, both men and 
officers, felt and behaved like one large family, and 
vied with each other to entertain and beguile the 
tedious moments, squeezing out all their wit in their 
tricks and performances and bursting the air and 
their sides with merry laughter. 

Tsushima was then left behind us in mist and 
haze, and we steered our course northward across 
the sea, with Korean mountains and peaks still in 
sight. Our amusements continued day after day, 


with occasional playing of the piano by clumsy- 
handed men and shouting and screaming of war- 
songs on deck. When tired of the game of go l or of 
wrestling, we would discuss the plan of campaign 
and wish that the curtain might be raised at once, so 
that we could show off our skill on the real stage of 
the battle-field, not only to astonish the enemy, but 
to elicit the applause of the world-wide audience. 

I remember very well that it was on the 23d of 
May that our captain asked for our autographs as 
a memento and family heirloom. I took out a sheet 
of paper; at its top I sketched the S. S. Kago- 
shima Maru steering its way, and underneath 
Colonel Aoki and all the other officers wrote their 
names. Thirty-seven names this piece of paper 
contained only a few of men now surviving! 
What a valuable and sad memorial it has become! 
Crippled and useless, I live now as a part and par- 
cel of that memorial, to envy those on the list whose 
bodies were left in Manchuria and whose honored 
spirits rest in the Temple of Kudan. 2 

1 The game of go, played with white and black counters on 
a board ruled into small squares, requires an immense amount 
of intellectual effort. In this respect it surpasses all games 
played in America, even chess. It is characteristic of the intel- 
lectual activity of the Japanese that this is a favorite game of 
all classes and all ages. 

1 Kudan, the name of a hill in Tokyo upon which stands the 
Shokonsha, or "Spirit-Invoking-Temple," wherein are en- 
shrined the spirits of all those who have died for their country. 
It is one of the religious centres of the New Japan. 


On the forenoon of the 24th we were passing 
near the Elliot Isles, when we saw many lines of 
smoke floating parallel to the water and sky. It was 
our combined fleet greeting the approach of our 
transports. What an inspiring sight, to see our fleet 
out on the ocean! Presently a cruiser came up to 
us and continued its course with us. It must have 
brought some orders for us. 

Our landing was near at hand; soon we were 
to appear on the real stage. And yet we did not 
know where we were to land; or in what direction 
we were to march. 

All with one accord hoped Port Arthur! 


WHERE were we to land? This was the 
question that exercised our minds from 
the beginning to the end of our voyage. To land at 
Taku-shan and attack Haicheng and Liao Yang 
in the north, was one of the suggestions made. To 
go straight to the Gulf of Pechili and land at lakao 
was another. A third suggestion was that we were 
to land at a certain point on the coast of Liaotung, 
and then go south to attack the stronghold of 
Port Arthur. Of course, all the views and opinions 
advanced were changed according to the direction 
in which our bows pointed. But at last, when we 
saw on the chart that we were sailing south of 
the Elliot Isles, all agreed at once that our destina- 
tion was some spot leading to Port Arthur. What 
excitement and joy when we saw the transports 
and the guard-ships proceeding together toward 
that spot ! After a while we began to notice a dark 
gray, long, slender piece of land dimly visible through 
thick mist. That was indeed the Peninsula of Liao- 
tung! the place where, ten years before, so many 
brave and loyal sons of Yamato had laid their bones, 


and the field of action on which our own bodies 
were to be left ! Since the previous evening the sky 
had been dark, the gray mist and clouds opening 
and shutting from time to time, the wind howling 
at our mast-heads, and the waves beating against 
our bows flying like snowflakes and scattering them- 
selves like fallen flowers. Behind us there was only 
boundless cloud and water. Beyond those clouds 
was the sky of Nippon! The enthusiastic Banzais 
of the cheering nation, the sound of rosaries rubbed 
together in old women's hands, the war-songs com- 
ing from the innocent lips of children all these 
seemed still to reach our ears, conveyed by the swift 

We were to land at a gulf called Yenta-ao, on 
the eastern coast of the peninsula, to the southwest 
of Pitsu-wo. This was only a small inlet on the sea 
of China. There was no good harbor in the vicinity 
except Talienwan, on the east side of Liaotung 
Peninsula; but that good harbor was then in pos- 
session of the enemy ; so we had to risk everything 
and land on this less desirable spot, from the strate- 
gic necessity of the case. The sea and the currents 
of that neighborhood are both very treacherous ; a 
storm of the least degree would make it extremely 
difficult, not only to land, but even to stay there at 
anchor. Moreover, the water is very shallow and 
a ship of any size must anchor one ri 1 away from 

1 Ri, about two and a half miles. 

the shore. When the wind is strong, a ship is sure 
to drift several miles further to the offing. Such 
being the case, we can well imagine the difficulty 
and anxiety those in charge of our debarkation ex- 
perienced. Just as mother birds watch over their 
young, our convoys were watching us far and near, 
to protect our landing from surprise by the enemy. 
But the wind that had begun to blow in the morning 
became fiercer and fiercer, angry seas and frantic 
waves rose in mountains, transports and sampans 
were shaken like flying leaves, Chinese junks char- 
tered by our government, raising their masts like 
forest trees, were being tossed and teazed by the 
winds as in the time of the great Mongol invasion 
in the Bay of Hakata. l 

Could we land safely in such a storm ? Were we 
to face the enemy at once on going ashore ? We were 
like horses harnessed to a carriage we did not 
know anything about our surroundings. All was 
known only to our colonel, in whose hands lay our 
lives. We did know, however, that two things were 
ahead of us, and they were landing and march- 
ing. After a short wait, our landing was begun in 
spite of the risk; evidently the condition of the 

1 The Mongol invasion here referred to is the one of 1274 A.D., 
when Kublai Khan, having made himself master of China and 
Korea, undertook the invasion of Japan. His fleet reached the 
Bay of Hakata, on the coast of Kyushu, but was dispersed by 
a storm after the first battle with the Japanese had driven the 
invaders back to their ships. 


campaign did not admit delay. Hundreds of sam- 
pans, boats, and steam-launches whence they had 
come, we did not know surrounded the transports 
to carry men and officers away. Tremendous waves, 
now rising like high mountains and now sinking 
like deep valleys, seemed to swallow men and boats 
together. Carrying the flag with due solemnity, I got 
into the boat with the colonel. Innumerable small 
boats were to be fastened to steam-launches like 
beads on a rosary. Rolling and tumbling, these 
rosaries of boats would whistle their way to the shore. 
Our regimental flag braved the wind and waves 
and safely reached its destination. Ah, the first step 
and the second on this land occupied by the enemy! 
It seemed as if we had left our Fatherland but yes- 
terday, and now, not in a dream, but in reality, we 
were treading on the soil of promise! 

What an exquisite joy, to plant once more the 
Imperial Flag of His Illustrious Virtues on the 
Peninsula of Liaotung, also the soil of Japan, 
consecrated by the blood of our brothers ! 

The storm went from bad to worse; it seemed 
impossible to complete the landing, neither could 
the men go back to the transports. The only thing 
possible was to trust to the mercy of winds and 
waves, jump into the water and struggle for the 
shore as soon as the boats came near. The expe- 
rience of my friend Captain Tsukudo is an illus- 
tration of the extreme difficulty of landing. 


Captain Tsukudo, with over sixty men under his 
care, was in a boat, which was towed away from 
the transport by a small launch. His boat rolled in 
the waves like a ball and was in constant danger of 
being swallowed in the vortex. The tug cast off her 
tow and fled for safety. The gigantic ho 1 which 
sweeps through ten thousand miles without rest, 
even his wings are said to be broken by the waves 
of the sea. Much less could a small boat stand the 
force of such waves. It seemed as if the bravest of 
men had no other choice than being "buried in the 
stomachs of fishes." Rescue seemed impossible. 
Heaven's decree they must obey. Death they were 
ready for, but to die and become refuse of the sea, 
without having struck one blow at the enemy now 
close at hand, was something too hard for them to 
bear. With bloodshot eyes and hair on end, the 
captain tried in every way to save his men, but alas ! 
they were like a man that falls into an old well in 
the midst of a lonely meadow, not sinking, yet not 
able to climb up the root of the vine that he clings 
to as a life rope being gnawed by a wild rat! 

Captain Tsukudo jumped into the sea and swam 
toward the shore with all his might ; but the waves 
were too relentless to yield to his impatient and 
impetuous desire to rescue his men. They swallowed 
him, vomited him, tossed and hurled him without 

1 Ho, a fabulous bird of gigantic size, like the roc of the 
Arabian Nights. 


mercy; the brave captain was at last exhausted 
and fainted away before reaching the shore. Hea- 
wa yen, however, did not give up his case ; he was picked 
up on the beach, and when he recovered conscious- 
ness he found himself perfectly naked. Without 
waiting to dress, he ran to the headquarters of the 
landing forces, and with frantic gestures asked for 
help for the men in his boat; he could not weep, 
for tears were dried up; he could not speak, for 
his mouth was parched, but he succeeded in get- 
ting his men saved. 

Another boat loaded with baggage and horses 
capsized; one of the poor animals swam away 
toward the offing. The soldier in charge of the 
horse also swam to catch the animal. Before he 
reached it, the steed went down and soon afterward 
the faithful man also disappeared in the billows. 
Poor, brave soul! his love of his four-legged charge 
was stronger even than that of the stork who cries 
after its young in the lonesome night. Though he 
did not face the enemy's bullets, he died a pioneer's 
death on the battle-field of duty. 

Was the Canaan of our hopes the country that 
we had pictured to ourselves? Contrary to our 
expectations, it did not look at all like a place our 
brethren had bought with their blood ten years be- 
fore. It was simply a desolate wilderness, a deserted 
sand-plain, a boundless expanse of rolling country, 
a monotonous insipid canvas, with dark red and 


light gray all over. Compared with the detailed, 
variegated picture of Japan that we had been ac- 
customed to, what a sense of untouched and un- 
finished carelessness! What a change of scene to 
see hundreds of natives swarm to the spot of our 
landing, with horses and wagons, to get their job! 
Were they men or animals ? With ill-favored faces, 
they would whisper to each other and pass on. As 
knavish fellows they deserve anything but love, but 
as subjects of an ill-governed empire they certainly 
deserve pity. At first they dreaded the Japanese; 
they stared at us from a distance, but did not come 
near us ; probably because they had been robbed of 
their possessions by the Russians, and their wives 
and daughters had been insulted by them. The 
Japanese army, from the very first, was extremely 
careful to be just and kind to the natives and en- 
couraged them to pursue their daily work in peace. 
Consequently they soon began to be friendly with 
us and to welcome us eagerly. However, they are 
a race of men who would risk even their lives to 
make money, and would live in a pig-pen with ten 
thousand pieces of gold in their pockets. How our 
army suffered from the treachery of these money- 
grubbers will be told later on. 

"Ata, ata! Wo, wo!" 

This strange cry we constantly heard at the front 

it is the natives' way of driving horses and cows. 

Their skill in managing cattle and horses is far 


beyond ours. We could not help being struck with 
the manner in which the animals obeyed their or- 
ders; they would go to right or left at the sound 
of these signals, and would move as one's own limbs 
without the slightest use of whips. The relation 
between these natives and their cattle and horses 
is like that between well-disciplined soldiers and 
their commanders ; not the fear of whip and scold- 
ing, but a voluntary respect and submission, is the 
secret of military discipline and success. The fact 
that the Russian soldiers were lacking in this im- 
portant factor became clear later by the testimony 
of the captives. 

After some companies of our division had landed 
with much ado, the storm grew worse and the land- 
ing was suspended. The colonel, an aide-de-camp, 
the interpreter, the chaplain, and myself, accom- 
panied by a handful of guards, crossed the wilder- 
ness and wended our way toward Wangchia-tun, 
fixed as our stopping- place for that night. We busied 
ourselves with the map and the compass, while the 
interpreter asked question after question of the 
natives. I consulted a Chinese- Japanese conver- 
sation book, and asked them in broken words, 
"Russian soldiers, have they come?" to which they 
replied, "To Port Arthur they have fled." We were 
of course disappointed not to encounter the long- 
looked-for antagonists at once! 

Seven ri's journey through a sand plain brought 


us to the willow-covered village Wangchia-tun in 
the rainy and windy evening, when strange birds 
were hastening to their roosts. 

Stupid-looking old men and dirty-faced boys 
gathered round us like ants and looked at us with 
curiosity. Long pipes were sticking out from the 
mouths of the older men ; they seemed utterly un- 
concerned or ignorant of the great trouble in their 
own country. The filth and dirt of the houses and 
their occupants were beyond description ; we new- 
comers to the place had to hold our noses against 
the fearful smells. Military camp though it was 
in name, we only found shelter under the eaves of 
the houses, with penetrating smells attacking us 
from below, and surrounded by large and small 
Chinese highly scented with garlic! Before our 
hungry stomachs could welcome the toasted rice- 
balls, our olfactory nerves would rebel against the 

We who had succeeded in landing spent our first 
night in Liaotung in this condition. The spirits 
of the deceased comrades of ten years before must 
have welcomed us with outstretched arms and told 
us what they expected of us. Under tents, half ex- 
posed to the cold and wet, the men slept the good 
sleep of the innocent on millet straw, and an occa- 
sional smile came to their unconscious lips. What 
were they dreaming of? Some there were who 
sat by the smoky fire of millet straw all the night 


through, buried in deep thought and munching the 
remnant of their parting gifts with their lunch boxes 
hanging from the stone wall. 

The day was about to dawn, when suddenly thun- 
der and lightning arose in the western sky. Not 
lightning, but flames of fire; not thunder, but roar 
of cannon! Furious winds added to the dreariness 
of the scene; the sky was the color of blood. 

The great battle of Nanshan ! We could not keep 
still from fullness of joy and excitement. 


THAT glorious January 2, of the thirty-eighth 
year of Meiji, will never be forgotten to the 
end of time. That happy day of the victorious New 
Year was doubly crowned by the birth of an Im- 
perial grandson and by the capitulation of Port 
Arthur! There has never been a New Year in all 
our history so auspicious and so memorable! 

The fall of Port Arthur was an event that marked 
an epoch in the history of the world! Do not for- 
get, however, that this result was achieved only 
through the shedding of rivers of blood. General 
Kuropatkin had boasted of the invincible strength 
of the fortress and had said that it could live out 
over a year against the fiercest attacks imaginable. 
But the incessant, indefatigable rain of bullets 
and shells upon the place by the invading army 
obliged the Russians to surrender in less than two 
hundred and fifty days. Between the first battle 
at Nanshan and the final capitulation of Stoessel, 
the bodies of our soldiers became hills and their 
blood rivulets. Spectators often doubted our suc- 
cess. But the spirit of Yamato, as firm as the iron 


of a hundred times beating and as beautiful as the 
cherries blooming on ten thousand boughs that 
tamashii 1 proved too powerful for the completest 
of mechanical defense. At the same time, we can- 
not but admire the stubborn courage with which 
the Russian generals and soldiers defended their 
posts under circumstances of extreme difficulty 
and suffering. We fully endorse the remark of a 
foreign critic: "Well attacked and well defended!" 
Port Arthur had been attracting the keen atten- 
tion of the whole world ever since the Japan-China 
war. Russia had spent nearly ten years and hun- 
dreds of millions of yen 2 in fortifying the place. 
It had been considered of such strategic import- 
ance that its fall would mark the practical ter- 
mination of the Russo-Japanese struggle, just as 
the fall of Plevna decided the fate of the Russo- 
Turkish war. The fortress of Port Arthur embraces 
within its arms its town and harbor innumerable 
hills of from two to five hundred metres in height 
form a natural protection to the place. To these 
natural advantages was added the world-famous 
skill of the Russians in fortification. Every hill, 
every eminence had every variety of fortification, 
with countless cannon, machine-guns, and rifles, 

1 Tamashii, spirit, the same word that in composition with 
Yamato becomes damashii. 

1 Yen, the monetary unit, equal to one hundred sen, or fifty 


so that an attack either from the front or from the 
side could easily be met. Each spot was made still 
more unapproachable by ground-mines, pitfalls, 
wire-entanglements, etc. There was hardly any 
space where even an ant could get in unmolested. 
It was surely impregnable. On the other hand, our 
position was extremely disadvantageous. We had 
to climb a steep hill, or go down into a deep valley, 
or up an exposed slope to attack any Russian fort. 
The position of the whole place was such that it 
was as easy to defend as it was difficult to attack. 
Moreover, the Russians had on the spot enough 
provisions and ammunition to withstand a longer 
siege, without relying upon supplies from outside. 
But there is no single instance in history of any 
fort that has withstood siege permanently; sooner 
or later it must either capitulate or else lose all its 
men and fall. The same will also be the case in the 
future. The only question is whether a fort will 
fall as easily as a castle of ante. 1 Sebastopol with- 
stood the allied armies of England and France for 
more than three hundred and twenty days, but 
eventually fell after the docks had been destroyed, 
the forts blown up, and the town utterly demolished. 
At Kars the gallant General Williams, with only 
three months' provision and three days' ammuni- 
tion, supported by the Turkish soldiers, withstood 
for seven months the Russian army of fifty thou- 
1 Am6, candy made from wheat gluten. 


sand men; but it fell at last. The Russian Gen- 
eral Muravieff admired the hero of Kars and sent 
him this message: 

"All the world and future generations will marvel 
at your valor and discipline. Let us have the glory 
of consulting together about the way of satisfying 
the requirements of war, without doing harm to 
the cause of humanity." 

Paris resisted the Prussian siege for one hundred 
and thirty-two days before surrendering. These 
are only a few remarkable examples in history ; but 
all besieged places have fallen sooner or later. The 
only purpose a fort can serve is to resist the be- 
siegers as long as possible, so as to hinder the gen- 
eral plan of the enemy. This principle applied to 
Port Arthur; it had to detain as many as possible 
of the Japanese in the south, for as many days 
as possible, in order to let Kuropatkin develop 
his plan in North Manchuria without hindrance. 
For this great object, General Stoessel held fast to 
the marvelously fortified place and tried his best 
to keep off the besieging army. Supposing that Port 
Arthur had not fallen before the great battle of 
Moukden, what would it have meant to our gen- 
eral plan of campaign ? This supposition will make 
the true value of Port Arthur clear to every mind. 
Therefore they tried to hold it, and we endeavored 
to take it; a desperate defense on one side and 
a desperate attack on the other. General Nogi 


bought the fortress at a tremendous price the 
sacrifice of tens of thousands of lives; but once 
in our possession, its value became greater than 

That such an invincible and unapproachable 
place was taken in eight months tells how fierce 
was the struggle. The siege of Port Arthur was 
one of the bloodiest contests that the world has 
known. In modern history, the siege of Plevna 
had until then been considered the most sanguinary. 
The great but unfortunate artist, Vereshtchagin, 
who went to the bottom of the sea outside Port 
Arthur with Admiral Makaroff, painted for pos- 
terity the scenes of Plevna. If he had survived to 
see the last of Port Arthur, he must have portrayed 
a scene even more bloody. Mr. George Kennan, 
the war-correspondent of the "Outlook," described 
this siege as representing the shriek of the lowest 
hell on this earthly abode of ours. And these hor- 
rible scenes were necessitated by the strategic value 
of Port Arthur itself. 

How was Port Arthur besieged and attacked? 
The answer to this question is the centre and object 
of my little sketch; hence this brief explanation 
of its value. 

The night of our landing at Liaotung, we heard 
the din of battle arising from Nanshan, the only 
entrance to Port Arthur. Let us now return to that 




THE thunder and lightning in the direction of 
Nanshan became fiercer and fiercer as time 
went on. How was it being fought? With what 
courage and perseverance were our comrades ac- 
quitting themselves? Was the place already occu- 
pied, or were they still struggling on? We must 
hurry forward to take part in this our first battle; 
it was an opportunity too great for us to miss. How 
soon should we be ordered to march ? We were thus 
impatient and fidgeting, our minds racing toward 
Nanshan. But, on the other hand, we did not know 
whether the battalions to follow us had accom- 
plished their landing in safety or not. The messen- 
ger sent for news had not come back after a day 
and night. The colonel had only five hundred men 
in hand. What a slender force ! Would our com- 
mander venture out with this handful of men? 
His anxious face told us that he could not lead us 
at once into the fight. Were we merely to watch it 
from a distance, as if it were a fire on the other side 
of a river, without offering to help? We began to 
be disappointed. Of course the prospect of the war 

was long the curtain had just risen; this Nanshan 
could not be the last act. But it was tantalizing to 
be on the spot and yet not to encounter the enemy, 
to hear the din of battle and yet not be able to join! 

All things come to him who waits. We received 
the following orders : 

" Proceed without delay to join the Second Army 
under General Oku at Nanshan." 

This was proclaimed by our colonel, who was full 
of joy and eagerness his voice rang with energy 
and enthusiasm. Both men and officers welcomed 
the news as they would glad tidings from heaven. 
They were more than ready to start. March! tear 
on! We spread our legs as wide as possible. We 
kicked and spurned village after village, field after 
field. We did not think of how many miles we ran. 
With the enemy's visage lurking before our eyes, 
we did not feel any pain or fatigue; the drops of 
perspiration mixed with dust formed a mask over 
our faces but what did it matter ? Our water 
bottles were emptied ere long, our throats were 
dry and parched, we were almost suffocating, but 
not a single man was out of rank. We all looked 
toward the supposed post of the enemy, and ran 
forward. The sound of roaring cannon made us 
forget fatigue, difficulty, and pain. 

"Is Nanshan still holding out?" 

"They're just in the thick of the fight hurry 
on, men!" 


Such conversations were frequently heard be- 
tween the coolies coming back from Nanshan and 
the men now marching to it. It sounds foolish, 
but we all wished that Nanshan would not yield 
before our arrival. Perhaps we were conceited 
enough to think that, without the help of us fresh 
men, our comrades would be too exhausted to oc- 
cupy the place. When we saw on our way two or 
three captured officers being escorted to our head- 
quarters, we were half happy to have a first sight 
of the defeated enemy and half afraid lest Nan- 
shan had already been taken! 

I wish to say in passing that in the army a sharp 
line is drawn between the things that may be granted 
to the soldiers when possible and those that must not 
be allowed under any circumstances. This is par- 
ticularly the case in time of a march. In a march 
for practice, or in a march in time of war, but not 
for an actual engagement, as much rest and as ample 
a supply of provisions are allowed as possible. But 
when we march to a fight, we go on even without 
food or water, or in spite of a heavy storm. Each 
soldier carries a knapsack about ten kwan 1 in 
weight, and has only one bottleful of water to drink. 
When he has emptied it, he cannot get one drop 
more. Day after day, he rests and sleeps in a field- 
encampment; in pouring rain or howling storm, 
he is not allowed to take shelter even under the 

1 Kwan, a little over eight and a quarter pounds. 

eaves of a house. Exhaustion or pain is no reason 
for an exception. He has no time to wipe the per- 
spiration from his face, which soon becomes white T 
with dried-up salt. Panting and suffocating, he 
struggles on. It seems cruelty to subject men to this 
ordeal, but they must sacrifice everything to duty. 
Even one single soldier must not be missing, even 
one single rifle must not be lacking from the skir- 
mish line. And after such a hard march, they en- 
gage in a severe fight at once; so, therefore, the 
success or failure of the battle is practically settled 
during the march. Hence the great importance of 
training men in time of peace in waterless marches, 
night marches, and quick marches. This practice 
may seem needlessly inflicted hardship, but its true 
value is made clear when it comes to a real fight. 

To return to our story, we pressed on in great 
enthusiasm or rather in a state of frenzy, thinking 
all the while of the first battle at Nanshan. When 
we came near our destination, we saw cone-shaped 
tents nestling under the trees or on the sides of the 
hills. They were our field-hospitals. The large 
number of these tents made us very anxious about 
the issue of the struggle. Stretcher after stretcher 
would bring fresh patients and hurry back to the 
line of battle to fetch more. The wounded who 
could walk accompanied the stretchers on foot in 
large numbers and panting all the way. Both those 
on foot and those on stretchers were covered with 


blood and mud, which told more eloquently than 
words the story of their valiant fight and hard 
struggle. Their white bandages, stained with red, 
covered wounds of honor; the drops of blood falling 
through the stretchers seemed to hallow the ground. 
They impressed us with an inexpressible dignity 
we could not help sighing with reverence and grati- 

Just at this moment, the aide-de-camp who had 
gone forward to receive instructions came back 
and reported that Nanshan had fallen, and that all 
the reserves were to lodge in the neighborhood 
of Chungchia-tun to await further orders. What a 
disappointment! From the commander down to 
the grooms all felt dispirited and disheartened 
stroked their hard-strained arms and stamped on 
the ground with regret. It is true, this early fall of 
Nanshan, which the enemy had considered the key 
to Port Arthur, would be a great advantage to our 
future plan of campaign. We ought to have re- 
joiced over the news, and we did of course rejoice; 
but at the same time you cannot blame us for being 
thus disappointed when you think how we had 
hurried and pressed on from the point of our land- 
ing, without stopping to recover our breath, only 
to learn at our destination that the object of our 
efforts had been attained by other people. 

Only one more hill in front of us ! Beyond it were 
blood-streams and corpse-hills. When we reached 


this spot the deafening cannon roar suddenly ceased, 
the mountains and valleys recovered their ancient 
silence. The only thing we saw was the continuous 
sending back of the wounded. Whenever we met 
them, we comforted them and thanked them for 
their work. We had a rest at the bottom of the hill, 
where a groom, who had been in the battle, re- 
counted to us the story with great pride. Shaking 
his head and flourishing his arms, he talked like 
a professional story-teller his story was a great 
excitement for us then. He showed us a water 
bottle that had belonged to a Russian soldier. Alto- 
gether he talked as if he had vanquished the enemy 
all by himself. We who had not yet loaded our 
guns, we who had not yet unsheathed our swords, 
felt shamefaced and crestfallen; even this non- 
combatant groom seemed like a hero to us. We 
praised him, and piled question after question on 
him, and eagerly devoured his triumphant ac- 

We, all the reserves under the direct command 
of General Oku, Commander-in-chief of the Second 
Army, were ordered to spend the night at Chung- 
chia-tun. We had to go back a ri and a half over the 
same road to that place. How lacking in spirit was 
that backward march! Both men and horses hung 
their heads and walked on dejectedly. The yellow 
dust rising from the ground made us look like 
dumplings covered with yellow bean-flour. In our 


forced march by day and night, we had thought only 
of Nanshan and had not felt any pain in our legs. 
Everything was reversed on our return! Even in 
a manoeuvre in time of peace, the sound of can- 
non and rifles makes us forget the pain in our feet 
and the exhaustion of our bodies, changes our walk- 
ing into running, and incites us to assault the enemy 
with a frantic zeal; but once we begin to retrace 
our steps, our feet grow heavy at once, every rut and 
every pebble tries our temper, and we are entirely 
without energy or spirit. This may come from the 
Japanese characteristic that thinks only of going 
forward and not at all of retreating. The Russian 
soldiers are masterly in retreat, whilst the Japanese 
are very unskilled in it. But once they begin to 
advance, the Japanese are never defeated by the 
Russians. We have inherited a temperament which 
knows no retreating even before sure death, and 
that inheritance has been made stronger by dis- 
cipline. Our constant victory over the fierce enemy 
must largely be due to this characteristic of ours. 

At last we reached Chungchia-tun. It was a deso- 
late village with a small stream running through it. 
The moon looked dismal that night and the stars 
were few. Nature seemed to sympathize with the 
disappointed, worn-out men and officers, sleeping 
on millet straw and mourning over those who had 
died in the battle of that day. Here and there we 
saw men unable to go to sleep till late at night 


their hearts must have been full of new emotions. 
The cuckoo l hurrying through the sky, with one 
brief note or two a few bars of a biwa-song 2 
crooned by a sleepless man Ah, what a lone- 
some, touching evening it was! 

Thus I failed to take part in the battle of Nan- 
shan, and I have no right to recount the story of that 
severe struggle, although the title of this chapter 
may suggest a full recital. The only thing I can 
do is to tell you in the next chapter what I saw on 
the scene of the battle immediately after its actual 
occurrence. This will be followed up later by my 
own story of the siege of Port Arthur. Before 
concluding this chapter, however, I wish to intro- 
duce a brave soldier to my readers. 

When we were starting from Wangchia-tun we 
dispatched a bicycle orderly, Buichi Kusunoki by 
name, to our place of landing, Yenta-ao, to estab- 
lish communication between ourselves and those 
who landed after we did. This man was known to 
be specially fitted to fulfill such a duty; his persever- 
ance and undaunted courage had always made him 
successful. Consequently, when we started from 
Japan, he was singled out from his company as an 
orderly attached to the headquarters of our regi- 

1 In Japanese poetry the cuckoo's rare cry in the moonlight 
is treated as particularly sad and dismal. 

2 A species of epic, or heroic ballad, sung to the accompani- 
ment of the lute, or biwa, which has always been the music of 
*he Japanese soldier. 



ment. So, naturally, this first important duty after 
our landing devolved upon Kusunoki. Late in the 
afternoon, he started for Yenta-ao on his machine. 
We had come to Wangchia-tun through pathless 
plains he could not expect to go back to Yenta-ao 
without great difficulty. In a strange land, not know- 
ing anything of the place or the language, he went 
on with the pole-star as his only guide. His duty 
was very important. If he had reached his destina- 
tion even one hour later, much time would have been 
lost in the movement of the other detachments. Of 
course he did not know that Nanshan was to fall 
without our help. He only knew that our whole 
regiment of reserves must be near Nanshan, so that 
we could join the battle-line at a moment's notice. 
This Kusunoki was the sole means of communica- 
tion by which the two separate parts of our regiment 
could be brought together. On starting, he was care- 
fully told of the tremendous responsibility he was 
to undertake. But eight or nine ri's journey in the 
pathless wilderness of Liaotung in pitch darkness 
was not an easy task. His bicycle, instead of being 
a help, was a burden to him; he had to carry it 
on his back and run. He went astray and could not 
find the right place all night. Toward daybreak he 
hoped to be able to find out where he was, but all 
in vain! With nothing to eat or drink, he struggled 
on without knowing whither he was going, but pray- 
ing that he might chance to reach the right place. 

With his mind in a great hurry, he crept on all fours, 
resting every now and then, for his legs would carry 
him no further with his machine on his back. For- 
tunately, however, he came across a sentinel, who 
showed him the right way and gave him something 
to eat. He was thus enabled to accomplish his object 
in time, though delayed. The orderly, and the 
aide-de-camp as well, bears a responsibility much 
greater than that of an ordinary soldier. The com- 
mander must rely upon them if he would move tens 
of thousands of men as easily as he moves his own 
fingers. The success or failure of a whole army 
often depends upon the efficiency of the aide-de- 
camp. Therefore he must possess the four import- 
ant qualities of courage, perseverance, judgment, 
and prompt decision. And this Buichi Kusunoki 
was a true aide-de-camp, with bravery and faithful- 
ness worthy of our profound respect. 


NANSHAN guards Chin-chou at the entrance 
to the Liaotung Peninsula. Though its hills 
are not steep or rugged, they go far back in great 
waves. The place is convenient for defensive pur- 
poses, but it is inferior in this respect to Nankwan- 
ling, farther back. In the China- Japan War, the 
Chinese resisted us for a while at this Nankwanling. 
The reason why the Russians preferred to fortify 
Nanshan rather than Nankwanling was because 
the former was near Dalny, their only non-freezing 
port. They had chosen a spot on the opposite 
shore from Lin Shin Ton, the railway terminus at 
the head of Talie Bay, and had built there the 
large city of Dalny, making it their only commercial 
port in Liaotung and the starting-point of the 
Eastern China Railway. In order to protect this 
port, they had chosen Nanshan at its back and built 
there a fortification of a semi-permanent character. 
For ten years they had been spending hundreds of 
millions in building this city and fortifying Port 
Arthur, and at the same time in strengthening this 
important outpost of Nanshan. We were told by 


a captured Russian staff-officer that the Russians 
had believed that Nanshan could stand the fiercest 
attacks of the Japanese for more than half a year. 
However, when our second army began to attack 
the place, they set at naught every difficulty, did 
not grudge any amount of sacrifice, and precipitated 
themselves upon the enemy so violently that Chin- 
chou, Nanshan, and Dalny were all occupied in one 
single night and day (May 26). You can well im- 
agine how desperate was this struggle. Even in the 
China- Japan War, the taking of Nankwanling and 
the occupation of Port Arthur were not quite as easy 
as to twist a baby's arm. But one Japanese officer, 
who fought on both occasions, said to us, when he 
examined the elaborate defenses of Nanshan, that 
the battle of ten years before had only been a 
sham fight in comparison. We had to sacrifice over 
four thousand men killed and wounded in order to 
take this stronghold. The scene after the battle 
presented a terrible sight. True it is that this battle 
was very mild compared with the general assault on 
Port Arthur, but at Nanshan I saw for the first time 
in my life the shocking scenes after a furious fight. 
We managed somehow to pass the night of the 
26th at Chungchia-tun, and on the next morning 
we received instructions to go out and lodge at 
Yenchia-tun, a village at the foot of Nanshan. 
The fifth and sixth companies of our regiment were 
ordered to guard Nanshan. 


As soon as we reached the top of the steep hill 
that I have already mentioned, an extensive rolling 
country was before our eyes. At its right was Chin- 
chou, while on the left the steep Fahoshangshan 
reared its head. This was the site of the fierce 
battle of yesterday. The place was full of re- 
minders of cannon roar and war-cries; we could 
not stand the sight. Horrible is the only word that 
describes the scene. 

From a hill in front of us we saw white smoke 
rising and spreading a strange odor far and wide; 
that was the cremation of our brave dead, the altar 
on which the sacrifice to the country was being 
burned. Hundreds of patriotic souls must have risen 
to heaven enveloped in that smoke. We took off 
our caps and bowed to them. While the mothers 
at home were peacefully reeling thread and think- 
ing of their beloved sons at the front, while the wives, 
with their babies on their backs, were sewing and 
thinking of their dear husbands, these sons and 
husbands were being crushed to pieces and turned 
into volumes of smoke. 

It is not pleasant to see even a piece of 'a blood- 
stained bandage. It is shocking to see dead bodies 
piled up in this valley or near that rock, dyed with 
dark purple blood, their faces blue, their eyelids 
swollen, their hair clotted with blood and dust, 
their white teeth biting their lips, the red of their 
uniforms alone remaining unchanged. I could not 


help shuddering at the sight and thinking that I 
myself might soon become like that. No one dared 
to go near and look carefully at those corpses. We 
only pointed to them from a distance in horror and 
disgust. Everywhere were scattered blood-covered 
gaiters, pieces of uniform and underwear, caps, and 
so on; everywhere were loathsome smells and ghastly 
sights. Innumerable powder-boxes and empty car- 
tridges, piled up near the skirmish-trenches, told us 
plainly how desperately the enemy had fired upon 
the invading army. Wherever we saw the enemy's 
dead left on the field, we could not help sympathiz- 
ing with them. They were enemies, but they also 
fought for their own country. We buried them care- 
fully, but the defeated heroes of the battle had no 
names that we could hand down to posterity. At 
home their parents, their wives, and their children 
must have been anxiously waiting for their safe re- 
turn, not knowing, in most cases, when, where, or 
how their beloved ones had been killed. Almost all 
of them had a cross on the chest, or an ikon in hand. 
Let us hope that they passed away with God's bless- 
ing and guidance. The killed and wounded of a 
defeated army deserve the greatest pity. Of course 
they are entitled to equal and humane treatment by 
the enemy, according to the International Red Cross 
regulations. But defeat we must avoid by all means. 
Added to the ignominy of defeat, the wounded must 
have the sorrow of separating from their comrades 


and living or dying among perfect strangers, with 
whom they cannot even converse. The case of the 
killed is still sadder. Some had cards of identifica- 
tion, so that their numbers would eventually tell 
their names. As far as we could, we informed the 
enemy of those numbers; but there were many in- 
stances where there was no means of identification. 
Their names are buried in eternal obscurity. 

Arrangements were made for our temporary lodg- 
ment at Yenchia-tun. When I reached the native 
house assigned for us that evening, I heard next 
door the piteous groanings of human beings. I has- 
tened to the spot to see the tortures of hell itself. 
Fifteen or sixteen Japanese, and one Russian, all 
seriously wounded, were lying in the yard, heaped 
one above another, and writhing in an agony of pain. 
The first one who noticed my coming put his hands 
together in supplication and begged me for help. 
What need of his begging? To help is our privilege. 
I could not imagine why these poor comrades should 
have been left alone in such a condition. If we had 
known earlier, perhaps better assistance could have 
been given. With tears of sympathy I called in sur- 
geons and helped in relieving their suffering. While 
the surgeons were attending to their wounds they 
would repeat: "I shall never forget your goodness; 
I am grateful to you." These words were squeezed 
out of the bottom of their hearts, and their eyes were 
full of tears. On inquiry we learned that for two 


days they had not had a single grain of rice, or a 
single drop of water. They were all very severely 
wounded, with broken legs, shattered arms, or bul- 
let wounds in head or chest. Some there were who 
could not live more than half an hour longer; even 
these were taking each other's hands or stroking 
each other in sympathy and to comfort. How sad! 
How pitiful! How boundless must be our sadness 
and pity when we think that there were over four 
thousand killed and wounded on our side alone, and 
that it was impossible to give them the attention 
they needed ! In a short time two of the men began 
to lose color, and breathe faintly. I ran to their side 
and watched. Their eyes gradually closed and their 
lips ceased to quiver. One comrade near by told me 
that one of these two had left an old mother at home 

One of the most pitiful of sights is, perhaps, the 
dead or wounded war-horses. They had crossed the 
seas to run and gallop in a strange land among fly- 
ing bullets and the roar of cannon. They seemed to 
think that this was the time to return their masters' 
kindness in keeping them comfortable so long. With 
their masters on their backs they would run about 
so cheerfully and gallantly on the battle-field! The 
pack-horses also seemed proud and anxious to show 
their long- practiced ability in bearing heavy bur- 
dens or drawing heavy carts, without complaining 
of their untold sufferings. Their usefulness in war 


is beyond description. The successful issue of a 
battle is due first to the efforts of the brave men and 
officers, but we must not forget what we owe to the 
help of our faithful animals. And yet they are so 
modest of their merits; are contented with coarse 
fodder and muddy water; do not grumble at con- 
tinual exposure to rain and snow, and think their 
master's caress the best comfort they can have. 
Their manner of performing their important duties 
is almost equal to that of soldiers. But they are 
speechless ; they cannot tell of wound or pain. Some- 
times they cannot get medicine, or even a comforting 
pat. They writhe in agony and die unnoticed, with 
a sad neigh of farewell. Their bodies are not buried, 
but are left in the field for wolves and crows to feed 
upon, their big strong bones to be bleached in the 
wild storms of the wilderness. These loyal horses 
also are heroes who die a horrible death in the per- 
formance of duty; their memory ought to be held in 
respect and gratitude. My teacher, the Rev. Kwa- 
tsurin Nakabayashi, 1 accompanied our army during 
the war as a volunteer nurse. While taking care of 
the wounded at the front, he collected fragments of 
shells to use in erecting an image of Bato-Kwanon 2 

1 A Buddhist priest. 

1 Kwanon is the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Bato-Kwanon, 
or the Horse-headed Kwanon, is the special patroness of horses. 
In the country districts one may see rude images of Bato- 
Kwanon set up by the roadside, to which horses are brought 
and offerings made by their masters in their behalf. 


to comfort the spirits of the horses that died in the 
war. This plan of his has already been carried out. 
Another Buddhist by the name of Doami has been 
urging an International Red Cross Treaty for horses 
such as there is now for men. Without such a pro- 
vision he says we cannot claim to be true to the prin- 
ciples of humanity. Our talk of love and kindness 
to animals will be an empty sound. He is said to be 
agitating the introduction of such a proposition at 
the next Hague Conference. Of course there are 
veterinary surgeons in the army, but no one can ex- 
pect them to be able to bestow all necessary care on 
the unfortunate animals. To supply this deficiency 
and protect animals as best we can, a Red Cross for 
horses is a proposal worthy of serious attention. 

I climbed Nanshan to inspect the arrangements 
of the enemy's position there. Everything was al- 
most ideal in their plan of defense, everything quite 
worthy of a great military power. Besides the 
wire-entanglements, pitfalls, ground-mines, strong 
lines of trenches went round and round the moun- 
tain, embrasure holes for machine guns were seen 
everywhere, a large number of heavy guns thrust 
out their muzzles from many a fort. As the place 
was fortified in a semi-permanent style, there were 
barracks and storehouses, and the latter were filled 
with all kinds of winter clothing. There was a rail- 
way and also a battery. When I entered a building 
used as the headquarters of the commander, I was 


astonished to find how luxuriously and comfortably 
he had lived there. His rooms were beautifully fur- 
nished, hardly reminding one of camp life. What 
was most curious, night garments and toilet articles 
of a feminine nature as well as children's clothes 
were scattered here and there. 

From this spot I looked through field-glasses far 
to the eastern seacoast, where were countless men 
and horses lying on the beach washed by the gray 
waves. They were the remains of the Cavalry Bri- 
gade of the enemy, who had been stationed about 
Laohu-shan to defend the right flank of their lines. 
Our Fourth Division surprised them from behind, 
from the west coast ; they had no way of retreat, were 
driven into the sea, and thus were almost all drowned. 
This defeat was self -inflicted, in so far as they had 
relied too much upon the strength of their position 
and thus lost the opportunity for a timely retreat. 

Half-way up the mountain we saw a damaged 
search-light and a pile of rockets. These were the 
things that often impeded our attempts at coming 
near the enemy under cover of night. The search- 
light had been damaged by our men in revenge after 
the occupation of the place, because they had been 
so severely harassed by the machine. 

The scene before my eyes filled my heart with 
grief and sorrow. Hour after hour the wooden posts 
to mark the burial-places of the dead increased in 
number. On my trip of observation from Nanshan 


to Chin-choul noticed a mound of loose earth, with a 
bamboo stick planted on it. I stepped on the mound 
to see what it was. I was shocked to discover a dead 
Russian underneath. It was my first experience of 
stepping on a corpse, and I cannot forget the hor- 
ror I felt. At that time I had not yet tasted a fight 
and therefore could not help shuddering at its tragic 
and sinful effects. It is almost curious to think of it 
now, for the oftener flying bullets are encountered 
the less sensitive we become to the horrors of war. 
What is shocking and sickening becomes a matter 
of indifference. Familiarity takes off the edge of 
sensibility. If we should continue to be so shocked 
and disgusted we could not survive the strain. 

For sixteen hours our army persevered, braved 
the cross-firing of the enemy, and finally captured 
Nanshan after several assaults with a large sacrifice 
of precious lives. We thus acquired the key to the 
whole peninsula of Chin-chou, cut off the communi- 
cation of the enemy, were enabled to begin the clear- 
ing of Talien Bay unmolested, and also to make all 
necessary preparations for the general attack on 
Port Arthur. Our victory at Nanshan was a record- 
breaking event in the annals of warfare. And this 
signal success was won, not through the power of 
powder and gun, but primarily through the courage 
and perseverance of our men. During the battle, 
when the third assault failed of success, the com- 
mander, General Oku, cried in a voice of thunder, 


" What sort of athing is Yamato-damashi ? " Where- 
upon the whole army gained fresh strength, drew 
one long breath, and took the place by storm. Sir 
Claude MacDonald said that the secret of Japan's 
unbroken record of success in this war was in the 
"men behind the guns." This battle of Nanshan 
was a demonstration of their quality. 



IT was on the 28th of May that we went to Chang- 
chia-tun from Yenchia-tun to take the place of 
the defense corps of the Third Division. After Nan- 
shan our division was separated from the Second 
Army under Oku, and attached to the newly organ- 
ized Third Army for the siege of Port Arthur. It 
was not a long march from Yenchia-tun to Chang- 
chia-tun, but whenever I think about marching I 
cannot help remembering this particular occasion. 
Round about Port Arthur the ground is covered 
with rocks and pebbles; all the other places on the 
peninsula are covered with earth like rice bran or 
ashes, which fills the mouth, eyes, and nose. Swift 
winds stirred up clouds of dust, filling the throat and 
threatening to swallow the long snake-like line of 
marching men. Often we could not see an inch 
ahead and our line of men was in danger of discon- 
nection. Even the cooked rice in our lunch boxes 
was filled with the dust. On other occasions we had 
marched ten or twenty ri's without resting day or 
night, had covered sometimes a distance of more 
than ten ri's on the double-quick, had made a forced 


march without a drop of drinking water, or had 
marched in pitch darkness ; but all our previous ex- 
periences of this kind were nothing compared with 
the hardships of this dust-covered march. If this is 
the price for the honor of taking part in a real war, 
we have certainly paid it. Toil and hardship of 
course we were ready for, but while our minds were 
prepared for bayonets and bullets, at first we felt it 
a torture to fight with Nature herself, to cross the 
wilderness, climb the mountains, fight with rain 
and wind, with heat and cold, and sleep on the beds 
of grass. But very soon we began to philosophize, 
and to think that this was also an important part of 
our warfare, and this idea made us take kindly to 
the fight with the elements and with Nature. Event- 
ually we learned to enjoy sleeping in the spacious 
mansion of millet fields, or in rock-built castles, 
viewing the moon and listening in our beds to the 
singing of insects. 

Marching without a halt, we reached Chang- 
chia-tun and took the place of the Third Division 
men. When we saw these men for the first time, 
we felt ashamed of our own inexperience and wished 
to sneak out of their sight. They seemed to us 
crowned with glory for their great achievement at 
Nanshan, and we felt like country people who had 
missed the train, looking at the trail of smoke with 
mouths wide open in disappointment. We envied 
them, picturing to ourselves their clothes torn and 


bloodstained and their skins covered with fresh 
wounds of honor. We looked up to them with love 
and reverence, admiring their dust-covered caps 
and bloodstained gaiters. Their very countenances, 
their very demeanor, seemed to recount eloquently 
their glorious exploits. 

The right centre of our line of defense was an 
eminence facing the enemy's front. But our whole 
line covered a distance of twenty-five kilometres 
from Antsu-shan at one end to Taitzu-shan at the 
other, with the pass of Mantutsu in the middle. Just 
north of this pass is the village of Lichia-tun, and our 
own battalion occupied a line extending from this 
village at its right to the village of Yuchia-tun the 
other side of the river, beyond which lay a range 
of hills. There we raised strong works, diligently 
sought our enemy, and busily engaged ourselves in 
preparations for defense and attack. In the mean- 
time General Nogi and his staff landed at Yenta-ao 
and reached Peh-Paotsu-yai, a village about three 
ri's to the northwest of Dalny. With his arrival the 
organization of the Third Army was completed. 
How eagerly, then, did we wait for the first chance 
of fighting! 

The enemy, though defeated at Nanshan, had of 
course been reluctant to give up Dalny; but they 
had been obliged to run for their lives, and they and 
their wives and children escaped toward the bottom 
of the bag, that is, Port Arthur, burning down the 


village of Sanshihli-pu on their way thither. They 
had fortified a strong line, connecting the hills, 
Pantu, Lwanni-chiao, Waitu, Shwangting, etc. 
The distance between the Russian and Japanese 
lines was between three and five thousand metres. 
This much of the enemy's condition and position 
we ascertained through the hard work of scouts and 
scouting parties. 

As soon as we were stationed on the line of de- 
fense, we began on the very first day to work with 
pickaxes and shovels. A special spot was assigned 
to each cavalry battalion and infantry company, 
and each group of men, in its own place, hurried day 
and night, digging trenches for skirmishers. The 
officers acted as "bosses," the non-commissioned 
officers as foremen, and the men themselves as coolies, 
all were engaged in digging earth. All the while 
scouts, both officers and non-commissioned officers, 
were being dispatched to find out the enemy's move- 
ments. No alarm had come yet ; the engineering work 
made daily progress. The trenches for skirmishers 
and bomb-proofs for the cavalry, forming the first 
line of defense, grew steadily, their breastworks 
strengthened by sand-bags the sacking for which 
had been brought from Dalny. A simple kind of 
wire-entanglement was also put up, a good road 
was made, short cuts connecting different bodies of 
men were laid out like cobwebs ; thus our defenses 
assumed almost a half-permanent character. The 


soldiers either utilized village dwellings, or pitched 
tents in the yards or under the trees. When all these 
necessary preparations were fairly complete, more f\ 
scouts and scouting parties began to go off to find 
out the movements and whereabouts of the enemy. 
At a military review or manoeuvres in time of 
peace, the men look gay and comfortable, but on 
the real battle-field they have to try a true life-and- 
death match with the enemy. In the readiness and 
morale of the men while on the outposts lies the out- 
come of the actual encounter. Therefore men on 
the line of defense cannot sleep at ease at night, or 
kindle fires to warm themselves. The night is the 
time when they must be most vigilant and wide- 
awake. The patrols on the picket line and the scouts 
far in front must try to take in everything. How- 
ever tired they may be from their day's work, at night 
they must not allow even a singing insect or a flying 
bird to pass unnoticed. Holding their breath and 
keeping their heads cool, they must use their sight 
and hearing for the whole army behind them, with 
the utmost vigilance. When people talk of war, 
they usually forget the toil and responsibility of 
the men on the picket line, they talk only of their 
behavior on the field of battle. Because this duty 
was neglected, three regiments of the English army 
in the War of Independence, 1777, were annihilated 
by the Americans through the fault of one single 


"Halt! Halt! Who goes there?" 

The sentinel's cry adds to the loneliness of an 
anxious night. One or two shots suddenly sound 
through the silent darkness; it is probable that 
the enemy's pickets have been discovered. Quiet 
prevails once more; the night is far advanced. A 
bank of dark clouds starts from the north, spreads 
quickly and covers the whole sky with an inky 
color, and the rain begins to fall drop by drop. 
This experience on the picket line, keeping a 
sharp eye on the enemy all the time, continued for 
about thirty days. 

By the time our line of defense was in proper 
order, the enemy began to show their heads. Every 
night there was the report of rifles near our line of 

"Captain, five or six of the enemy's infantry 
scouts appeared, and then suddenly disappeared, in 
a valley five or six hundred metres ahead." Such 
a report was repeated over and over again in the 
course of one day and night. Soon we began to try 
various contrivances to capture the enemy's scouts 
on our line of patrol. One of them was this : about 
twenty ken l away from our line a piece of rope was 
stretched, to that rope another piece was fastened, 
one end of it leading to the spot where our patrol 
was standing. The idea was that if the enemy 
walked against the first rope the second would com- 

1 The ken measures about six feet. 


municate the vibration to the patrol man. Once 
when the signal came, and the men hurried to 
capture the enemy, no human being was in sight, 
but a large black dog stood barking and snarling 
at them. 


OUR scouts were gradually increased in num- 
ber; not only from the troops on the first 
line, but also from the reserves at the rear, scouts 
were dispatched one after another. Almost always 
they were successful. They either came across a 
small body of the enemy and dispersed them, or 
else they came back with the report of a place 
where a larger force was stationed. Such a success 
was always welcome to the commander of the bri- 
gade or of the regiment. Because we had not yet 
encountered the enemy, we were all very anxious to 
be sent out as scouts, in order to have a chance of 
trying our hand on the foe. 

It was on the 2oth of June, if I remember cor- 
rectly, that one of our officers, Lieutenant Toki, 
started out, with half a company of men under him, 
to reconnoitre the enemy about Lwanni-chiao, but 
did not come across any Russians. He left a small 
detachment as a rear-guard and started back. Un- 
expectedly two Russian scouts appeared between 
his men and this rear-guard. They were sur- 
rounded, but offered stubborn resistance with bay- 


onets and would not surrender. They were fired 
at, and fell, though still alive. They were our first 
captives and we were anxious to question them. 
They were placed on straw mat stretchers made 
on the spot to suit the occasion, and carried in 
triumph to the side of a brook at a little distance 
from the headquarters of our regiment. This was 
our first bag of captives. The men swarmed around 
the poor Russians, eager to enjoy the first sight of 
prisoners-of-war. Presently came the aide-de-camp 
of the brigade and an interpreter. The two captives 
were put in different places and examined sepa- 
rately. This was according to the recognized rule of 
separate cross-questioning, so that the real truth 
may be inferred through comparison and synthesis 
of the different assertions of different prisoners. In 
examining them, the first questions put are, what 
army, division, etc., do they belong to, who are their 
high commanders, where did they stay the previous 
night, how is the morale of their army, etc. Even 
when we have no time to go through all these ques- 
tions, we must find out what they belong to, in order 
to ascertain the disposition of the enemy's forces. If, 
for instance, they say they belong to the First Regi- 
ment of Infantry sharpshooters, we can infer from 
that statement who the commander is and what is 
his probable plan of campaign. 

Our surgeons gave the captives proper medical 
care and comforted them, saying: "Depend upon 

it, we shall take good care of you. Be at your 
ease and answer truthfully whatever is asked of 

The surgeons told us that both Russians had been 
shot through the chest and would not live an hour 
longer, and therefore that it was advisable to put 
only a few important questions while they retained 
consciousness. One of the examiners said: "Of 
what regiment and of what place are you?" 

The poor captive answered, gaspingly: "The 
Twenty-sixth Regiment of Infantry sharpshooters." 
" Who is the commander of your division ? " " Don't 
know." The interpreter expostulated. "You can't 
say you don't know. You ought to know the name 
of your own commander." 

The captive showed his sincerity in his counte- 
nance; probably he meant what he said. He was 
breathing with difficulty, and blood was running 
out of his mouth. 

"Please give me a drink of water." 

I was standing nearest to him and obtained a 
glass of spring water. When I gave him to drink 
he would not even look at it. 

"There is boiled water in my bottle; give me 

I did as was requested. I do not know whether 
this Russian, even in his last moments, disdained 
to receive a drink from the enemy, but I was struck 
with his carefulness in observing the rules of hy- 


giene and not drinking unboiled water. Because 
of this strength of character, he had bravely fought 
with our scouting party until he was struck down, 'fl 
But he was not the only Russian soldier who did 
not know the name of his commanding general. 
Afterwards when I had chances of cross-questioning 
a large number of captives, I found out that the ma- 
jority of them were equally ignorant. Moreover, 
they did not know for what or for whom they were 
fighting. Nine men out of ten would say that they 
had been driven to the field without knowing why 
or wherefore. 

No more time was allowed for questioning this 
captive. He became whiter and whiter, breathed 
with more and more difficulty; his end was fast 
approaching. The surgeon said: "Do you suffer? 
Have you any thing to say?" 

At these kind words he raised his head a little 
and said, with tears: "I have left my wife and 
one child in my country; please let them know how 
I died." 

He breathed his last soon afterward. This man 
sacrificed his life without knowing what for. To be 
driven to the far-away East, to be captured by the 
enemy, and die thinking of his wife and child ! He 
brought tears of sympathy to our eyes. He was 
honorably buried under a cross, and Chaplain To- 
yama offered Buddhist prayers. 

The other captive was different in his attitude 


and manners, and we were far from pitying him. Of 
course we had no personal enmity toward him, or 
toward any one of the Russian fighters, and there- 
fore we were quite ready to pity those worthy of pity, 
to love those worthy of love. But what do you think 
we found in this particular one? 

When the interpreter asked the man, "Where 
is your regiment stationed now?" his answer was 
something like this: "Shut up! I don't know. The 
Japanese are cruel; they are merciless to those 
who surrender. Give me some soup to drink ; give 
me some tobacco." 

This rude remark and behavior came, not from 
true courage, that does not fear the enemy, but from 
sheer insolence. Other men whom we captured 
later were worthy of a similar description. 

Although the Russians had been badly defeated 
at Nanshan, they did not yet know what was the 
real ability of the Japanese army; and relying upon 
the so-called invincible strength of Port Arthur be- 
hind them, they made light of their small-statured 
enemy. They were also like the frogs in the well, 1 
and did not know anything of our great victory of 
Chinlien-cheng and that the Russians had been en- 
tirely expelled from Korea. Even when they were 
told of these facts, they would not believe them. 
Boasting of the mere size of their country and army, 

1 Japanese proverb: The frog in the well knows not the 
great ocean. 


when were the Russians to awake from their delud- 
ing dreams? 

Day and night we tried hard to find out the ene- 'f\ t 
my's whereabouts. One time a large reconnoitring 
detachment was sent out, when they came across a 
body of Russian cavalry, many of whom were killed 
and their horses captured by our men. The enemy 
also was watching us incessantly, and away on the 
top of Waitu-shan a corps of observation equipped 
with telescopes was seen constantly giving signals 
with black flags. Sometimes they would send out 
scouts dressed as Chinese natives to spy our ad- 
vance lines. At first we were deceived by their ap- 
pearance and some of our patrols were killed in an 
unguarded moment. Then we learned to be more 
careful and did not allow even the real Chinese to 
cross our line. Upon one occasion the mayor of the 
village in front of us asked for permission to come 
within the Japanese line, on the ground that they 
were greatly inconvenienced by not being allowed 
to cross it. After that the headquarters of the bri- 
gade appointed a special committee to investigate 
into individual cases, and only those Chinese who 
had families or relatives living inside the line were 
allowed to come over. Of course the Chinese would 
do almost anything for money. There were many 
who had been bribed by the Russians to become 
spies. They caused us a great deal of damage in 
spite of every possible precaution. 


Thus we were kept busy with necessary prepara^ 
tions for an actual engagement, waiting for the right 
opportunity to present itself. For strategic reasons, 
we did not take an offensive attitude for some time, 
leaving everything to the choice of the enemy, with 
the mere precaution against a surprise by the Rus- 
sians. Meanwhile the enemy's navy appeared near 
Hsiaoping-tao and Hehshih-chiao and tried to find 
out our place of encampment by firing at us at ran- 
dom. At last the time came for us to begin active 
operations. On the 26th of June, the besieging 
army commenced hostilities and our regiment par- 
ticipated in the battle of Waitu-shan and Kenzan. 


FOR about thirty days we had waited for a good 
opportunity, fortifying ourselves strongly, and 
engaged in constant skirmishes with the enemy. 
There was, however, one thing that we could not 
permit, and that was that the enemy was able to 
look down into our camp from various high points 
in their position. They occupied Waitu-shan, 372 
metres in height, Shuangting-shan, a double- peaked 
mountain, of 352 metres, and a nameless mountain, 
which we afterward christened Kenzan, or Sword 
Mountain, higher and steeper than the first two. 
These mountains were secure from our attack, and 
from these eminences the enemy could spy us very 
well and comfortably. They set up fine telescopes 
on these places and took in what we were doing in 
our camp, in the Bay of Talien, and in Dalny. This 
was a great disadvantage to us. The longer they oc- 
cupied those heights, the longer our necessary pre- 
parations at the rear must be delayed and the right 
opportunity to advance and strike might be lost. 
So it was an urgent necessity to take these places 


of vantage, and also to take Hsiaoping-tao in order 
to prevent the enemy's warships from threatening 
our defenses of Talien Bay. This was the reason 
for our first battle, an attack on Waitu-shan. 

This was not a severe battle; its object was simply 
to drive away the enemy occupying these heights. 
Because of the natural strength of the place, the 
Russians had not done much to protect or fortify it, 
and it was comparatively easy for us to attack. But 
this was the first fight for us, and we fought it with 
special fervor and determination. 

Late in the night of the 25th, the last day of 
our defensive attitude, when the watch-fires of the 
camps were going out, and the occasional braying 
of donkeys added to the solitude of the hour, a 
secret order was brought to us to begin at once to 
prepare for fighting. Why was this message given 
at midnight? Because of fear of the natives. It 
had been arranged that our march and attack should 
begin on the 24th, but when we began to make 
preparations for starting, we soon found reason to 
suspect the natives of having informed the enemy 
of our movements and intentions. So we stopped 
for that day, and daybreak of the 26th was as- 
signed for the attack, so that we could begin our 
march before the natives knew anything of it. That 
night I could hardly sleep for excitement; I tossed 
and fretted in bed, pictured to myself the battle of 
the morrow, or talked nonsense with the comrade 


in the nearest bed. I saw the occasional flickering 
of small fires in the dark and knew that not a few 
were awake, smoking and cogitating. i^ 

Very soon the whole atmosphere of the camp was 
filled with quiet activity; officers and men jumped 
out of bed and began to fold tents and overcoats as 
noiselessly as possible. Putting on our creaking 
knapsacks with the utmost caution, we crept with 
stealthy tread across the grass, and gathering at one 
spot stacked our rifles. The sky was inky black with 
summer clouds; the bayonets and the stars on our 
caps were the only things that glittered in the dark. 
Though their eyes were dull and sleepy, all were 
eager and determined in spirit. 

"Have you left nothing behind? Are all the fires 

All at once the whole line became silent and be- 
gan to move on at the command "March silently." 
We had to keep very still until we were fairly out of 
the village, so that when the Chinese got up in the 
morning they would be surprised at our absence. 
This was the time for us to put in practice the quiet 
march, in which we had had much previous train- 
ing. Even a month's stay in the place had endeared 
to us, to some extent, the rivers and hills; the village 
had come to seem a sort of second home. How 
could we be indifferent to the tree that had given us 
shelter and to the stream that had given us drink? 
Among the villagers there was an old man by the 


name of Chodenshin, a descendant of a refugee of 
the Ming dynasty. He had helped us very faith- 
fully, drawing water in the morning, and kindling 
fires in the evening. This good man discovered that 
we were going, and worked all the night through to 
help us. When we began the march, he came to the 
end of the village to see us off. Of course we could 
not forget such a man, and every now and then we 
used to talk about his faithful services. 

The morning mist enshrouded the sky and the sun 
had not yet risen. The Sun Flag was at the head of 
our long line of march. Far away toward the right 
flank several shots were heard. Had the battle really 

At this moment both the right and left columns 
of our army began action, the right one to attack 
the height to the southwest of the village of Pantu, 
and the left to attack the enemy's entrenchments 
on the heights to the east of the village of Lwanni- 
chiao, that is, from the 368-metre hill (Kenzan) 
on the north, along the ridge to Shuangting-shan 
in the south. 

Our that is, the middle division of the left 
column was assigned to attack Waitu-shan. We 
marched quietly, binding the horses' tongues, furl- 
ing our flag, and trailing our arms. When we came 
close to the place, the enemy poured a fierce volley 
on us from the top of the hill and offered stubborn 
resistance. Brave, worthy foe ! We responded with 


a brisk fire and sent showers of bullets and shells. 
They were on an eminence and we at the foot of the 
hill; their shots fell like rain on our heads and raised 
dust at our feet. At last the curtain of our first act 
was raised. This was our first chance to compare 
our strength with theirs. The coming and going of 
bullets and shells became fiercer and fiercer as time 
went on. The exploding gas of the smokeless pow- 
der filled the whole field with a vile smell. The 
sound of the opening and shutting of the breech- 
blocks of the guns, the sound of empty cartridges 
jumping out, the moaning of the bullets, the groan- 
ing of the shells, wounding as they fell, how stirring, 
how sublime! The cry "Forward! Forward!" rises 
on every side. Steep hills and sword-like rocks are 
braved and climbed at a quick, eager pace; the 
cartridges rattle in their cases; the sword jumps; 
the heart dances. March and shoot, shoot and 
march! The enemy's shot rain hard; our bullets 
fly windward. The battle has become fierce. 

Until we have pierced the body of the foe with our 
shot, we must continue to harass them with our fire. 
The bayonet is the finishing touch; the guns must 
play a large part in a battle. So, therefore, we must 
be very careful in shooting. When the fighting once 
begins, we begin to dance from the top of the head 
to the tip of the toe, we lose ourselves in excitement, 
but that does not do. It is very difficult to act coolly, 
but the aiming and the pulling of the trigger must 


be done deliberately, however noisy the place may 
be, however bloody the scene. This is the secret 
determining who shall be the victor. 

" Pull the trigger as carefully and gently 
As the frost falls in the cold night," 

is the poem teaching the secret. Such a cool, delib- 
erate shot is sure to hit the mark. The enemy fall 
one after another. Then follows the final assault 
(tokkwan), then the triumphal tune is sung, the 
Kimi ga yo 1 is played, and Banzai to the Emperor 
is shouted. This is the natural order of events. 

The spirit of the men on the firing line improved 
steadily; the battle-field became more and more 
active. The number of the wounded increased 
moment after moment. Cries of "A-a!" sounded 
from every side, as the bullets found their mark 
and men fell to earth unconscious. 

The final opportunity was fast coming toward 
us; the enemy began to waver. One foot forward, 
another foot backward, they were in a half-hearted 
condition. 'T is time for "Tokkan! Tokkan!" 2 the 

1 Kimi ga yo, the national hymn, which may be roughly trans- 
lated thus: 

May our Lord's dominion last, 
Till ten thousand years have passed 
And the stone 

On the shore at last has grown 
To a great rock, mossy and gray. 

2 The words tokkwan, translated "final assault," and this 
word, Tokkan, meaning the war-cry, belong close together in 
thought as in sound. The "Tokkan!" which has been retained 


time for a shout like the beating on a broken bell 
and for a dash at the foe. Lo! a fierce rain of rifle- 
shot falls, followed by the shouting of a hundred 
thunders ; mountains and valleys shake ; heaven and 
earth quake. Captain Murakami, commander of 
the company, shouting tremendously and brandish- 
ing his long sword, rushes forward. All the soldiers 
follow his example and pierce the enemy's line, 
shouting, screaming, dancing, and jumping. This 
done, the Russians turn their backs on us and run 
for their lives, leaving behind arms, powder, caps, 
etc. How cleverly and quickly they scamper away ! 
That at least deserves our praise. 

Waitu-shan became ours once for all. We did not 
fight a very hard fight, but this our first success was 
like a stirrup cup. " Medetashi ! * medetashi ! " We 
raised our hearty Banzai to the morning sky at eight 
o'clock on the 26th of June. 

in the translation, is onomatopoetic, and gives force to the words 
that immediately follow it. 
1 "Medetashi!" Glorious! 


WAITU-SHAX being taken with ease, the 
emboldened thousands of our soldiers now 
began to chase the fleeing enemy along the long, 
narrow path leading from Ling-shui-ho-tzu to the 
368-metre hill, that is, Kenzan. The object of this 
march was to attack the Russians occupying Ken- 
zan, and our men were more eager and enthusiastic 
than ever, and fully expected to take this hill with 
one single stroke. 

Kenzan is a very steep, rocky, rugged peak, and 
the path on our side was particularly steep and 
rugged, so much so that one man on the path could 
prevent thousands of men from either climbing or 
descending. This hill had had no name originally, 
but the Russians themselves christened it Quin Hill. 
After the place was taken, General Nogi gave it the 
name of Kenzan, "Sword Hill," after the famous 
steep hill Tsurugi 1 -ga-mine' of Shikoku, near our 
home barracks, in order to perpetuate the fame of 
the regiment that took this steep place. We did not 
know at first how large a Russian force was sta- 

1 Tsvrugi, sword. 

tioned there. We had only ascertained that there 
were some infantry and more than ten guns for its 

Our regiment, as the reserve force, went round the 
foot of Waitozan and stopped in the cultivated 
fields near the seashore. At this time it was burning 
hot in Liaotung; moreover, there was no stream of 
water to moisten our mouths, no trees or bushes be- 
yond the village to give us shade. Our position was 
even without grass, and we were exposed to the red- 
hot-poker-like rays of the sun, which seemed to 
pierce through our caps and melt our heads. We, 
however, consoled ourselves with the idea that this 
horrible fire-torture would not last long, and that 
soon we should have a chance of real fighting. But 
we remained in the same position from 9 A.M. till 
3 P.M., all the hottest hours of the day. Far away to 
the left was visible the rippling water of the eastern 
sea how we longed for a cold bath before going 
forward to die on the battle-field! We could not help 
our mouths watering at the distant sight of the sea! 

After a while, a Russian gunboat appeared near 
Hsiaoping-tao, an island to our left, and began to 
fire at our reserve force. Many circles of smoke were 
scattered high in the air, the air itself made a whirl- 
ing sound, and the shot fell on our position with a 
tremendous noise. Shot after shot, sound after 
sound! Some would hit rocks, emit sparks, spread 
smoke around, and the rock itself would fly in pieces. 


,,__. Seen from a safe distance, it is a heart-stirring sight, 
but we would not have welcomed a real hit. Nearly 
all this shot came very near us, but fortunately none 
of us was wounded. Soon we began to hear the 
booming of guns and cannon in the direction of 
Kenzan; and we knew the attack had begun. We 
were anxiously longing to march and join the battle. 

How eagerly we welcomed the order, "Forward, 
march!" As soon as it was heard, all the men 
jumped up with a spring and turned their eyes to the 
colonel's face. The commander's brave bearing is 
always looked up to by his men as their pattern. 
Especially in a critical moment, when the issue of 
the day is to be settled, his undaunted attitude 
and steady gaze will alone inspire his men with the 
courage and energy which lead them to victory. 

Now we were to march. Our heavy knapsacks 
would have hindered our activity. The men hur- 
ried to put about a day's ration into a long sack to 
be fastened to the back, and fixed their overcoats to 
their shoulders. I pulled out two or three cigarettes 
from a package and started at once. Without any 
special order from anybody, our pace became faster 
and faster we marched along a long road toward 
the place where the roar of cannon and rifles was 
rising. We came nearer and nearer to the noise of 
the battle-line. When we reached the actual spot, 
how our hearts leaped! 

The steep hill occupied by the enemy rose in front 


of us almost perpendicularly. Our first line was in- 
cessantly exchanging fire with the Russians. As the 
fighting became harder and harder, the number of 
the wounded increased in proportion; they were 
carried to the rear in quick succession. Blood- 
stained men on stretchers, wounded soldiers walk- 
ing with difficulty, supporting themselves on rifles 
the sight of these unfortunate ones made us 
fresh men the more eager to avenge them. 

The struggle became still fiercer. Our artillery 
tried hard to silence the enemy's guns; our infan- 
try were clambering up the steep height one after 
the other they would stop and shoot, then climb 
a little and stop again. The whole sky was covered 
with gray clouds white and black smoke rose in 
volumes ; shells fell on the ground like a hail-storm. 
After a short time, our superior artillery effectively 
silenced three or four of the enemy's guns. Our in- 
fantry came quite close to the enemy, when two mines 
exploded before them. Our men were enveloped in 
black smoke and clouds of dust we feared great 
damage was done. Strange to tell, however, not one 
of our men had fallen when the smoke-cloud cleared 
away. The enemy had wasted a large quantity of pre- 
cious powder with the mere result of raising a dust! 

The Russians tried to hinder our pressing on, not 
only by these exploding mines, but also by repeated 
volleys from the mountain-top. This latter scheme 
was carried out so incessantly that we could hardly 


turn our faces toward the enemy or raise our heads 
comfortably. On and on, however, we marched with- 
out fear or hesitancy. A small company of men 
at the head of the line would clamber up the rocks 
and precipices, ready for annihilation; encouraged 
by their example, larger forces would -break in upon 
the enemy like a flood. Stepping on mine-openings 
and braving rifle and cannon fire coming from front 
and side, the extreme danger and difficulty of their 
attack was beyond description. The enemy resisted 
desperately; this Heaven-protected steep Kenzan 
was too important for them to give up. 

Suddenly a tremendous shout arose throughout 
our whole line; all the officers, with drawn swords 
and bloodshot eyes, rushed into the enemy's forts, 
shouting and yelling and encouraging their men 
to follow. A hell-like struggle ensued, in which 
bayonet clashed against bayonet, fierce shooting was 
answered by fierce shooting, shouts and yells were 
mingled with the groans of the wounded and 
dying. The battle soon became ours, for, in spite 
of their desperate resistance, the enemy took to 
their heels, leaving behind them many mementos 
of their defeat. Banzai was shouted two or three 
times; joy and congratulation resounded on the 
heights of Kenzan, which was now virtually ours. 
The Flag of the Rising Sun was hoisted high at the 
top of the hill. This stronghold once in our hands, 
shall we ever give it back to the enemy? 


KENZAN once in our hands, Shuangting-shan 
and its vicinity soon became ours. Through 
the smoke our colors were seen flying over the forces 
now occupying these places, whose thunder-like 
triumphal shouts echoed above the winds. This 
Shuangting-shan was as important as Kenzan 
neither position must remain in the hands of the 
enemy. But Shuangting-shan was not strongly 
fortified and the Russians could not hold it long 
against us. It was an easy prey for us. "When 
one wild goose is frightened, the whole line of 
wild geese goes into disorder; when one company 
wavers, the whole army is defeated," so says the old 
expression. When the Russians lost Kenzan, which 
they had relied upon so much, Shuangting-shan fell 
like a dead leaf, and Hsiaoping-tao also became 
ours. This island is to the left of the foot of Shuang- 
ting-shan and, as I have already told you, Russian 
ships had appeared in that neighborhood and at- 
tacked us on the flank; this attempt at piercing our 
side with a sharp spear was very effective. These 
ships were driven back into Port Arthur more than 


once by our fleet ; but as soon as they found a chance, 
they would come back and bombard our flank. Dur- 
ing the battle of the 26th, three or four gunboats of 
the enemy were in that vicinity; they greatly hin- 
dered our attacks on Kenzan and Shuangting-shan. 
So the left wing of our left column was ordered 
to take the island, and it soon fell into our hands. 
Thus the whole of the first line of the enemy's 
defense about Port Arthur came entirely under our 

Every detachment of our army was successful in 
its attack of the 26th, and this gave us an enormous 
advantage for the future development of our plan 
of campaign. We were now in a position to look 
down upon the enemy's movements, from those 
same heights whence they once had espied our 
doings. It is, therefore, no wonder that the Russians 
tried to recover this vantage ground. It is said that 
General Stoessel ordered his whole army to recover, 
at whatever cost, this Kenzan, which, he said, was 
indispensable for the defense of Port Arthur. This 
was quite natural for them. But we Japanese had 
determined not to give up the place to the enemy, 
whatever counter-attack, whatever stratagem, might 
be brought to bear. If they were ready for a great 
sacrifice, we were equally willing to accept the sac- 
rifice. Brave Russians, come and attack us twice or 
thrice, if you are anxious to have regrets afterward! 
What they did was "to keep the tiger off the front 


gate and not to know that the wolf was already at 
the back door." 

The long, summer-day's sun was going down, a 
dismal gray light enveloped heaven and earth; after 
the battle warm, unpleasant winds were sweeping 
over bloodstained grass, and the din of war of a 
short time before was followed by an awful silence, 
except for the scattered reports of rifles, with thin, 
dull, spiritless sound. This was the repulsed enemy's 
random shooting to give vent to their anger and 
regret it was quite an amusement for us. All of 
a sudden, dark clouds were vomited by mountain 
peaks, the whole sky became black in a moment, 
lightning and thunder were followed by bullet-like 
drops of rain; nature seemed to repeat the same 
desperate, bloody scene that we had presented a 
short while before. This battle of the elements 
was an additional hardship for our men, they 
had not even trees for shelter, all looked like rats 
drenched in water! We spent the night on this 
mountain in the rain, listening to the neighing of 
our horses at its foot. 

A severe battle is usually followed by a heavy 
storm or shower. When the battle is at its height, 
the sky is darkened with powder-smoke and the 
whole scene is dismal and dreary. Presently a heavy 
shower and deafening thunders come to wash away 
all impurities of the battle-field. This rain is called 
"the tears of joy for the victor, and the tears of sor- 

row for the defeated;" it is also the tears of mourn- 
ing for the dead comrades. Such a stormy night was 
almost sure to be utilized by the enemy to recover 
the lost position. But we were not off our guard 
after our victory, as the enemy may have imagined 
the roar of thunder or the fall of rain did not 
make us less vigilant. Each time they visited us, 
we were sure to dismiss them at the gate, thanking 
them for their fruitless visit. Once we occupy a 
place, a line of strict vigilance is spread all around, 
ready to meet the enemy's counter-surprise at any 
moment. This is what we call "tightening the 
string of the helmet in victory." 1 

Seven days had elapsed after our taking Kenzan 
and Shuangting-shan, when the enemy began a 
counter-attack, at mid-day of the 3d of July. They 
seemed to be trying to recover Kenzan with an over- 
whelming force. About eight or nine hundred of 
their infantry pressed straight on from Wangchia- 
tun; their artillery took up their position in and 
about Tashik-tung and began to fire at us with 
great energy. We had been expecting this all the 
time and were not surprised. All our guns and rifles 
were concentrated on their front; they were brave 
enough to rush on in spite of this shower of shot. 
But our fire was too much for them; they "fell 
like a row of ninepins." The officer at their head 

1 A saying of lyeyasu, the great soldier and lawgiver, "In 
the moment of victory, tighten your helmet -strings." 

flourished his long sword high in the air and furi- 
ously rushed toward us; but he too fell. At each 
volley they fell like autumn leaves in the wind. The m r m 
remnant of the enemy thought it impossible to face " 
us; they ran back into the valleys in complete dis- 
order. Their infantry had thus retreated, but the 
battery was not silenced so easily. For some time 
longer it held on and fired at our centre vigorously. 
Perhaps the sight of the retreating infantry made 
the artillerymen lose courage; the noise of their 
firing became less and less; soon the whole line 
of battle became as quiet as a dream. We shouted 
Banzai again and again. The enemy's first effort 
to regain Kenzan had failed! 

The Russians were so persistent in their attempt 
at recovering the lost position, that, soon after this 
severe defeat, about the same number of infantry 
as before made their appearance on Taiko-shan. 
Their band playing vigorously, they approached our 
first line. When the distance between the two parties 
became only seven or eight hundred metres, they 
deployed, shouted "Woola!" very loud, and rushed 
on us bravely, encouraged by the sound of fife and 
drum. We met them with a violent, rapid fire, killing 
both those who advanced and those who retreated. 
One of our detachments also took the offensive. 
This again was too much for the enemy; they took 
to their heels and went back toward Taiko-shan. In 
spite of the clear fact that it was impossible for them 


to defeat us, they repeated one attack after another, 
making a fresh sacrifice of men each time, fully de- 
termined to recover Kenzan. This tenacity of pur- 
pose was truly worthy of a great Power and deserves 
our admiration. Just as we have our loyal and 
brave "Yamato-damashii," they have their own un- 
daunted courage peculiar to the Slav race. "The 
tiger's roar causes storms to rise and the dragon's 
breath gathers clouds in the sky." Each of the con- 
tending parties had a worthy foe with which to com- 
pare its strength. 

At one o 'clock on the morning of the following day 
(the 4th), the enemy broke through the darkness of 
midnight and surprised us on Kenzan with a forlorn- 
hope detachment. This movement was so quick 
and so clever! not a blade of grass, not a stone was 
disturbed they clambered up the steep ascent 
without a noise, and quite suddenly they killed 
our sentries and rushed into our camp in a dense 
crowd, with loud shouts, flourishing their swords 
and brandishing their rifles. A scene of great con- 
fusion and desperate struggle ensued; it was pitch 
dark and we could not tell friend from foe the 
only thing we could do was to cut and thrust as 
much as possible without knowing at whom. We 
could not see anything, but each could hear and feel 
the heavy fall to the ground of his own antagonist. 
Once again our defense was too strong even for 
this assaulting party, who went down the hill in 


disappointment, though without confusion. We were 
all astonished at their valor and perseverance. Even 
those who were left behind wounded would try and 
resist us with rifle or sword. One of them, in partic- _ 
ular, who was seriously wounded and on the brink 
of death, raised his drooping head and smiled a 
ghastly smile of defiance and determination. 

Such a clever, well- planned surprise having failed, 
we thought that probably they had given up any 
idea of further attack on us. Contrary to our expec- 
tation, however, they still clung to the object of 
recovering Kenzan by some means. At the dawn 
of the same morning, they tried an open attack with 
a large force. This assault was particularly fierce. 
This time they showed even more determination 
than before; their artillery kept up a continuous fire, 
while the infantry made their advance under its cover. 
The number of men on their first line was constantly 
increased, and they seemed determined to wrest 
Kenzan from us at any cost. In spite of our advanta- 
geous position, in spite of our experience in repeated 
repulse of the enemy, the assault of this large body 
of Russians was far from easy for us to break. But 
we too had increased our numbers and had improved 
our defenses as much as possible, in expectation of 
just such an attack. Consequently this was almost 
as severe a fight as our attack on Kenzan. 

The artillery of the enemy increased in strength 
hour after hour and occupied the heights connecting 


Wangchia-tun, Mautao-kou, Antsu-ling, and so on; 
their main strength was directed to Kenzan, and 
also to our infantry position in general. Their way 
of pouring shrapnel on us was most energetic, and 
they proved themselves better marksmen than ever. 
Without the intermission of even a minute or a sec- 
ond, their shot and shells rained on us in a heavy 
shower. From early morning both our artillery and 
infantry kept up a rapid fire and tried hard to pre- 
vent the enemy from coming nearer, fully deter- 
mined not to allow them to enter, even one step, 
into the place we had once taken with our blood. In 
particular, those who were stationed at Kenzan had 
the hardest of times; they stood firm under the 
enemy's fierce fire and checked with great difficulty 
an attempt to rush their position. Sometimes they 
were hard pressed and in danger of giving way; at 
such times the officers in front would stir them up 
and cry, "Shoot! Shoot!" staring at the enemy with 
angry eyes and spitting foam from their mouths! 
The men kept their eyes fixed steadily on the enemy, 
their hands at work incessantly with magazine and 
trigger. They strained all their energy and power 
and did not economize powder, of which they are so 
careful at other times. 

The firing from both sides became more and more 
violent and quick, so that birds could not have found 
space to fly, or animals places for hiding. Thou- 
sands and thousands of shot and shell crossed in the 


air and made a dull sound in the heavy-laden atmos- 
phere ; the whole heaven and earth seemed the 
scene of the frantic rage of demons, and we could not 
prophesy when this scene would come to an end. 
The enemy's artillery fire was very strong; their 
time shells would fly to us in bundles, explode over 
our heads, and kill and wound our men mercilessly. 
The explosion of their spherical shells would hurl up 
earth and sand before and behind our skirmish line, 
raising a thick black and white smoke at the spot. 
The struggle of our artillery to resist such a violent, 
incessant attack was beyond description. They 
were sometimes obliged to change their position for 
a while. The issue of the day was still hanging 
in the balance; the enemy's forces were reinforced 
from time to time by fresh men they renewed the 
attack again and again. On our side, too, a part of 
our general reserve was placed on the line of battle; 
moreover, several companies of heavy artillery 
were sent out from Pantao to Hwangni-chuan, 
Tashang-tun, and their vicinity. Also, the marine 
heavy artillery corps was stationed at Shakako in 
the south. With this increase of strength on both 
sides, each party threatened to annihilate the other. 
The fight of the day became more and more des- 
perate ; the boom of cannon and rifle lasted from 
dawn till dusk still it did not lessen in its volume. 
The enemy seemed anxious to take advantage of 
the good effect of their fire to make an assault on us 


under its cover. The sharper their attack, the more 
watchful we became, and each time we dealt a cor- 
respondingly severe counter-attack. 

The melancholy rays of the setting sun shone 
upon the dismal scene of the battle-field, with a back- 
ground of dark gray which added to the sadness of 
the sight. This sadness, of course, was associated 
with our anxiety about the issue of the struggle. 
Was the battle of this day to cease without any re- 
sult ? Nay, the enemy would not give up the attack 
with the arrival of night; on the contrary, because 
they had a plan for a great night assault on us, they 
continued their firing from morning till evening, in 
order to exhaust us both in body and resources. 
We were sure that this was their plan, and so at 
night we waited for their coming with more vigi- 
lance and watchfulness. As was expected, the 
enemy's whole line began to move late at night and 
attempted to storm Kenzan and recover the place 
with one tremendous stroke. They came upon us in 
rage and fury: their bayonets glittered in the dark 
like the reflection of the sun on ice and frost; their 
"Woola" sounded like the roar of hundreds of wild 
beasts. "Now is the time for us to show them what 
we're made of!" With this idea in all our minds, 
we began with one accord to shower on them an 
accurate fire; nearly all the shot told. We were 
almost certain that the enemy would be defeated 
before so sure a fire. Their cry of "Woola" became 


less and less loud; the flowers of their swords also 
faded away in the dark. At last the whole place be- 
came perfectly quiet, so that we could hear the mel- 4 
ancholy note of summer insects singing in the grass, _ 
and the groaning of the wounded Russians left on 
the field. Up in the sky, thick clouds hung heavy 
and low, threatening to begin to rain at any moment. 
Our eyes rained first a drop or two in spite of our- 
selves for our comrades who had died in this battle. 
Later, when all the information was gathered, we 
found that the number of the Russians that began 
the attack early in the morning was about one thou- 
sand; it was gradually reinforced and became five 
thousand, and at last it was more than ten thou- 
sand. Added to this, some gun-boats of the enemy 
appeared off the coast of Lungwang-tang and fired 
vehemently on our centre and left wing. Even this 
large, combined force of the army and navy could 
not accomplish their cherished object all their 
stratagems and tricks were of no avail against us. 
After this fourth and hardest assault, they seemed 
to lose courage and hope; no further attack was 
made on Kenzan; the only thing they continued 
to do was to reconnoitre .our camp, and to direct 
slow firing on us both day and night, accompanied 
by an occasional night assault on a small scale, which 
seemed intended to cover and protect the defensive 
works which they were putting up in great hurry 
along the heights of Taipo-shan. 


WHAT an irksome, tantalizing business is 
defense! We may be quite ready to march 
and fight, both in morale and in material prepara- 
tions, and yet we must wait until the right oppor- 
tunity arrives. The sword hanging from the belt 
may moan from idleness, the muscles of the arm 
sigh from inactivity, and yet we have to wait till the 
proper time comes. But defense is the first step to- 
ward offense. We must first try every possible means, 
on this line of vigilant defense, to ascertain minutely 
and accurately the condition of the enemy, and to 
find out the arrangement of their men, before we lay 
our plans and begin a march and attack. So, there- 
fore, our defense is like the dragon concealing itself 
in a pond for a while, and our march its gather- 
ing clouds and fogs around itself and ascending to 
heaven. So, then, I propose here to tell you a little 
about the actual condition of our line of defense after 
the battle of Kenzan. 

A strong army of fourteen battalions and twenty- 
four guns had tried a hard and desperate assault on 


our position, to recover Kenzan "at whatever cost," 
to use General Stoessel's expression. But their 
scheme of reprisals was of no use. They retreated 
far back toward Shwangtai-kou and Antsu-ling on 
the north, and Taipo-shan and Laotso-shan on the 
south, and there along the heights they put up strong 
works of defense, planning to make a firmer stand 
there than at Kenzan. And we remained in exactly 
the same position as before, not even an inch of 
ground was given back to the enemy; our line 
stretched from Antsu-ling in the north, with Lwanni- 
chiao, Kenzan, Hwangni-chuan, and Tashang-tun 
in the middle, to Shuangting-shan in the south. Our 
regiment was to watch over the heights to the north- 
east of Hwangni-chuan and Tashang-tun, and on 
the very first day we began to dig with picks and 
shovels. As compared with our experience in Chang- 
chia-tun, we were much nearer the enemy, and, 
moreover, we had to make our works much stronger, 
knowing that the enemy would be sure to try an 
occasional assault on us, notwithstanding their re- 
peated defeats in the attempt to recover Kenzan. 
We had no time to give our men rest after their hard, 
continuous fighting. We could not leave our gate- 
way wide open for thieves and burglars, however 
anxious we were to rest our men. The urgent neces- 
sity of the case did not allow sympathetic consid- 
eration for their exhaustion. The brave soldiers 
themselves did not think of any repose; day and 

1 01 

night they carried the sand-bags, and wire-entangle- 
ment left at Changchia-tun, along the rocky steep 
path, or with no path at all, catching hold of grass- 
roots or points of rock. They devoted every available 
minute to putting up strong works as quickly as 

Our position was on a steep, rocky, skeleton-like 
mountain, over valleys with sides almost perpen- 
dicular. There were no trees to shield us from the 
sun, no streams of water to moisten our parched lips. 
Our only comfort was that we could see through the 
mist the forts on far-away Lautieh-shan and ram- 
parts on nearer hills and peaks, and imagine that 
soon the curtain would be raised and a great living 
drama again be presented on the stage. We pictured 
to ourselves the joy of another valiant struggle and 
wished that we might be allowed to sacrifice our- 
selves so completely that not a piece of our flesh be 
left behind. Days passed in hard work and vain 
imaginings. When the curtain of night covered the 
scene, a body of black forms would climb the hill. 
What were they ? They were fresh men to take the 
places of those exhausted by the day's hard work. 
Had they to work even at night ? Yes, on the line 
of defense this night work was the more important. 
In the daytime the enemy's artillery would fire 
and try to find out where we were working, and 
therefore steady progress was impossible. To make 
up the time lost we had to work at night. Looking 


at the distant smoke rising from the camp-fires of 
the enemy, our men dug earth, piled up stones, 
carried sand, rilled sacks, and planted stakes for * 
wire-entanglements. In doing this we had to try to ? 
make as little noise as possible, and of course could " 
not smoke. Even the lighting of a cigarette might 
give occasion for the enemy to fire at us. At two 
or three o'clock in the morning, we were still work- 
ing hard, in spite of heavy rain or furious storm. 
The men did all this without complaining, ungrudg- 
ingly; they only thought of doing their very best 
for their country, and for their sovereign. They 
truly deserve the heartfelt thanks and praises of 
the nation. 

In the small hours of the morning the body of 
pioneers would rest their arms awhile. Even then 
there were some who stood straight like statues with 
their guns on their shoulders, straining their eyes 
toward the enemy. The duty of the sentinels was 
also far from easy. Exposed to the night wind of the 
peninsula they would smile and say : "It 's very cool 
to-night! Shall we have another night assault as 

We did not know certainly where the enemy's 
artillery was stationed, but they would fire into the 
valley where the staff officers had pitched their tents, 
as if in search of us. It was on the i5th of July, 
if I remember correctly, that a big ball came flying, 
exploded with a tremendous noise, shattered rocks, 


threw up stones, raised dark yellow smoke, and 
shook the earth. We had been accustomed only to 
field-gun balls : this was our first experience of such 
a huge one. We were greatly astonished. Probably 
the enemy had hauled a navy gun up to Lungwang- 
tang and fired at us with that. They still seemed 
anxious to find a chance of recovering Kenzan, and 
sent us long-distance balls diligently. All our bat- 
talions, therefore, agreed to take careful statistics, 
and report how many balls were sent and to what 
part of our line, between what and what hours. The 
enemy tried in vain to frighten us by shattering the 
rocks of Kenzan with long-distance shot. Seen from 
a distance, the explosion of shrapnel looks like fire- 
works, but to be under such a shower of fire is not 
particularly pleasant. 

There was one thing that puzzled us very much. 
Every day, almost at the same hour, they would fire 
at us with special zeal; their aim was always directed 
to our headquarters and sometimes they would in- 
flict upon us unexpected damage. We thought, of 
course, there must be some secret in this mysterious 
act of the enemy's, but it was not at all easy to find 
out that secret. After a long and careful investiga- 
tion, the following wonderful and detestable fact 
came to light. 

The Chinese natives were in the habit of driving 
cows or sheep up to the hills at the back of our line 
of vigilance and giving signals to the Russians from 


this great distance. Their code was to indicate the 
direction or village to be fired at by a black cow, a 
flock of sheep, etc. Our experience at Changchia- "I 
tun had fully warned us of the dangerous quality of ^"' 
the Chinese, who would give up even their lives for " 
money. But this time they did not even attempt to 
pass through our line, but simply drove their ani- 
mals slowly up the mountain path. How could we 
dream that such an innocent-looking act was be- 
traying us to the enemy! They are ignorant and 
greedy survivors of a fallen dynasty ; they know only 
the value of gold and silver and do not think of 
national or international interests. It has never 
occurred to them to try to think why it was that 
Japan and Russia were fighting on their own farms; 
they were only anxious to make good the damage 
done to their farms and crops. Of course we had to 
punish these offenders very severely, though they 
deserved our pity, rather than our hatred. Money is 
the only god they worship. 

It was somewhere about the 2oth of this same 
month that some of our scouting officers went deep 
through the picket line of the enemy and gave a 
great surprise to some of their non-commissioned 
officers. The Japanese accomplished their object 
with success, and on their way back they came 
across three or four of the enemy's scouts. They 
chased the Russians about and tried to capture them, 
but the Russians fired at the Japanese officers in a 

desperate effort to make good their escape. Only 
one of them was left behind and captured, and our 
officers came back in triumph with their captive. 
As usual, we cross-examined the Russian, who was an 
infantry corporal. He bowed frequently and begged 
that his life might be spared, promising to tell us 
everything he knew. What a wretch! We wished 
we could give him one small dose of Japanese patri- 
otism, which considers "duty heavier than a moun- 
tain and death lighter than a feather." 1 We hear 
that a Japanese soldier, who had the misfortune of 
being captured by the Russians at Port Arthur, re- 
buked and reviled, with his face flushed with anger, 
the Russian general before whom he was driven. 
On the contrary, this Russian told us every military 
secret he knew, in order to keep his body and soul 
together. When he was led on to the line of obser- 
vation and told to tell us the arrangement of the Rus- 
sian soldiers, he pointed out and explained it with no 
scruple whatever, saying to the right there was the 
Twenty-sixth Regiment of Infantry sharpshooters, 
the Twenty-eighth Regiment of the same in the 
middle, and what regiment on the left hand, and 
so on. The correspondence between his answers 
and the reports from scouts testified to the correct- 
ness of each. He told us all the truth he knew and 
we were greatly helped by him. But all the same 

1 From the Imperial Rescript to the Army and Navy. See 
Appendix B. 


we despise him as a coward unworthy of a true 
soldier's society. 

Let me take this opportunity of telling you about -+ 
our examination of a Russian soldier captured the T 
night after our attack on Kenzan, under a huge rock, " 
where he was hiding himself. Our dialogue was 
something like this : 

"What did you expect from our attack?" 

"We were afraid, and thought that the Japanese 
attack would be very fierce." 

" Do your commanders take good care of you ?" 

"When we first arrived in Port Arthur they were 
kind and considerate to us, but recently they have 
not been so. For the last three months or so we have 
received only one third of our pay. Our rations also 
have been reduced one half; all the rest goes into 
their private pockets." 

"Have those who were defeated at Nanshan gone 
back to Port Arthur?" 

"They were not allowed to enter the great fortress; 
they were ordered to work on the entrenchments 
and live off the country, on the ground that there 
was no spare food to give them." 

"Do you know that many of your countrymen 
have been sent to Japan as captives? " 

" Yes, I know. Just the other day a friend of mine 
went to Japan as a captive." 

How could the officers and commanders secure 
respect and obedience and faithful service from sub- 


ordinates whom they did not love and take care of? 
Other kinds of service may be secured in other ways, 
but the faithful discharge of military duties, in the 
moment of life and death on the battle-field, can only 
come through the officers' loving their men as their 
own children, and the men's respecting their officers 
as their own parents. When one party is pocket- 
ing the salary and reducing the rations of the other, 
mercilessly involving them in unnecessary priva- 
tion and hardship, how can they be respected, 
and how can men be expected to die for such un- 
kind officers? The fact that the Russian soldiers 
pillaged the innocent natives everywhere, looting 
their valuables, stealing their food, and insulting 
their wives and daughters, finds a partial expla- 
nation in the above statement of the Russian cap- 

Day after day our works on the line of defense 
increased in strength. All the while the Russians 
continued their tiresome shell assaults under cover of 
night, and each time they were repulsed by our men. 
Cannon-balls rent the air without intermission; but 
they were so badly aimed that we were anxious lest 
they might exhaust their ammunition in fruitless 
efforts. But aimless bullets occasionally killed or 
wounded our men. It is no cause of regret to die in a 
glorious battle, but to be wounded and killed while 
engaged in duties of defense, and lose the desired 
opportunity of joining the great fight soon to take 


place, was something that we did not relish. "I 
shall never go to the rear." "I will not be sent to 
the bandage-place!" These words from the lips "T" 
of wounded soldiers well expressed their disap- ^^ 
pointment and regret. We can fully sympathize with ' 
their feelings. 


WE had relied upon our tents as a sufficient 
protection at least from rain and dew, but 
they were now in a miserable condition, torn by 
wind and spoiled by rain. For the sixty days since 
our landing we had lived in tents. All the circum- 
stances had been against our securing other quarters. 
Chinese villages have seldom many houses, only three 
or four together, here and there ; they are not at all 
adapted for accommodating a large army. If some- 
times we happened to spend a night under the eaves 
of a house, sheltered from inclement weather, but 
smelling all the time the unsavory odor of pigs and 
garlic, it seemed as great a luxury as sleeping under 
silk comfortables in an elegant room at home. Tents 
were our ordinary dwelling; one sheet of canvas was 
everything to us, shutting off wind and rain, and 
making our condition far better than if we had been 
obliged to lie in the damp open fields with the earth 
as our bed. But this all-important canvas could no 
longer do anything except serve the purpose of cov- 
ering us from the sun's rays. It allowed the merci- 

less rain to tease us, and the angry winds to chastise 
us freely, for what offense we did not know. Though 
it kept off the scorching sun, it yielded before "T" 
wind and rain. Our bodies could bear the rage of IJJT1 
the elements ; but how could we protect our rations ^"^ 
and our guns against the weather? These things 
were as important to us as life itself. We had no 
other place of shelter, not even a tree to protect us. 
Crying and lamenting were of no use. If it could not 
be helped, we could at least sleep a good sleep ex- 
posed to rain, and lose our fatigue *from the day's 
work in pleasant dreams. If any one could have 
stolen a glance at our sleeping faces on such a night, 
what a sight would have greeted his eyes ! There we 
lay fully clothed, with long disheveled hair and un- 
shaven faces, looking like beggars or mountain ban- 
dits, our tanned skins covered with dust and grime. 
We were terribly emaciated, our only delight was in 
eating. Whenever we had time, our thoughts turned 
to the question: What can we get to eat? 

"Have you anything good?" 

"No, you must have something nice; do give me 

These were the usual forms of greeting when we 
met. Sometimes when our mouths were too lonely 
we roasted peas, beans, or corn and would chew 
them, making sounds like rats biting something 
hard. Such an experience showed us what a life of 
luxury we had been living at home. 


The capture of Dalny gave our army improved 
facilities for the conveyance of supplies, and we 
could live on without much privation, except when 
we were actually engaged in fighting. The soldiers 
received their regular rations, which they cooked for 
themselves. In the shadow of a rock, or at the cor- 
ner of a stone wall, they might be seen cooking their 
food with millet stalks as fuel, waiting impatiently 
in the smouldering smoke for the rice to be ready. 
They were like happy children. The relishes were 
chiefly cucumber, dried radish, edible fern, dried 
sweet potato, or canned things. These were prized 
as great delicacies, as we were frequently obliged 
to swallow hard biscuit without water, or to welcome 
as a great treat half-cooked rice and one or two salt 
pickled plums. 

Our present station was pleasanter than Chang- 
chia-tun. Here we had some green grass, and some 
lovable blossoms also smiled on us. We would pick 
these flowers and arrange them in empty shells or 
put them in our buttonholes and enjoy their fra- 
grance. The tiny blue forget-me-nots made us 
sometimes fly in imagination to our dear ones at 

We Japanese fighters had another foe besides the 
Russians, and it was the formidable fiend called cli- 
mate. However brave a man may be, he may fall 
sick at any moment and have to leave the line of 
battle; this is being wounded by the enemy called 


climate, or sometimes by another called food. Ex- 
posure to the wind and rain sometimes brings about 
epidemics. It is hard enough to wait in wet clothes 
until the welcome sun comes out and dries us, but it 
adds greatly to the hardship to be in constant dread 
lest a terrible foe come and assault us at any mo- 
ment. In this neighborhood there were no trees 
worth the name, but there was grass enough for us 
to thatch improvised roofs for temporary quarters. 
These grass roofs were sufficient to keep off the sun, 
but were of no use against rain and storm. In wet 
weather they were even worse than torn tents. We 
could well stand the storm of the enemy's fire, but 
the storm of the elements was too much for us. Our 
soldiers got drenched to the skin and chilled through 
and through ; added to this their excessive work both 
night and day, the insufficiency of their sleep, and 
the drinking of the worst possible water, all combined 
to bring about an epidemic of dysentery, which 
proved a heavy drain on our forces. Attacked by this 
disease, I, who had been fat and strong, began to lose 
flesh and energy very fast and feared that I might be 
vanquished eventually. I was sad and grieved. . Any 
sickness is far from welcome, but it is doubly hard 
to fall ill where proper medical and hygienic sup- 
plies cannot be secured. Moreover, we were expect- 
ing every day to be ordered forward to fight. Should 
this order come before we recovered, we must be 
left behind, and not partake in the glory of another 


battle. This thought made us sick men still more 
impatient and sad. I shall never forget the kindness 
of three men who were my benefactors at this time. 
They are the two surgeons, Masaichi Yasui and 
Hayime Ando, and my servant, Bunkichi Takao. 

In spite of the infectious nature of my trouble, 
these surgeons were with me all the time, and at- 
tended to my medicine, food, and nursing very care- 
fully. They also told me interesting and amusing 
stories to cheer me up and to comfort me. Thanks 
to their efforts, I became better and was allowed to 
join the glorious fight and fulfill my allotted duties. 
Fighting together makes all men like brothers, or 
like fathers and sons. But this experience attached 
me particularly to these men, and all the time we 
were stationed in this place I rejoiced to labor and 
suffer with them. Dispersion is the ordinary rule in 
the battle-field; moreover, we did not know when 
we might be separated eternally by death. In the 
fierce siege of a strong fortress, death and injury can- 
not be limited to the men in the front lines; they may 
visit surgeons and other non-combatants in the rear. 
Not only that, but surgeons have often to risk them- 
selves and go forward to the firing line to pick up the 
wounded. We never know who will be the first to 

" If you are killed and I remain whole, I will gather 
all your things and keep them as a dear memento of 
our camp life together. If I die and you are spared, 


please keep a piece of my bloodstained cloak and 
hand it down to your posterity. My crimson blood 
will thus be a memento of my sincere * friendship to 
you, a symbol of my insignificant service loyally 
tendered to our Great Sire." Thus we talked and 
promised and became the best of friends. However, 
in the confusion of a battle-field a man does not 
commonly know where his particular friend fell, 
nor can he usually find his body. A chance meet- 
ing, whether dead or in life, was of course an excep- 
tion which we could not count upon. So when the 
first general assault on Port Arthur was announced, 
I shook the hands of these two surgeons in a last 
farewell, never expecting to see them again in this 
world. Later, surrounded by the enemy, my limbs 
were shattered at Wangtai. A brave soldier rescued 
me and carried me away. I was thus removed in a 
strange way from the mouth of the tiger. I lost con- 
sciousness. When I recovered my senses, it was my 
friends Yasui and Ando who held my shattered 
hands and said, "We thank you." It was they who 
had been taking care of me. 

Bunkichi Takao, my servant, was one of the com- 
pany whom I had trained in the garrison. I admired 
his faithfulness, sincerity, and zeal. When I was 
transferred to the headquarters of the regiment, I 
made a special request to his captain and secured 

1 The word translated here "sincere " is in its primary mean- 
ing "red," hence the symbolism of the bloodstained garment. 

him as my servant. Even in time of peace the rela- 
tion between an officer and his servant is very close, 
but when once in the battle-field together their rela- 
tions become still closer. It is no more master and 
servant, but elder and younger brother. In every- 
thing I depended upon Takao, and he in return be- 
came devotedly attached to me. He cooked for me, 
and brought me my food; somewhere he obtained a 
big water jar, carried water from a distance to fill it, 
and gave me the luxury of a good hot bath. In his 
letters to my family, we find such passages as the 
following : 

"Since coming to the front, we two have been 
quite well. Please put your heart at ease, as I am 
taking good care of my lieutenant. In the battle- 
field we don't know when we may be separated, 
but I shall guard my lieutenant even after death. I 
shall never forget his kindness. Forever and ever, 
please consider me as one of your family." 

What sincerity and faithfulness! While I was ill 
he would sit up all night, forgetting his own tired- 
out self, to stroke my chest and rub my arms. When 
I asked for food in great hunger, he would chide me 
and soothe me as one would a baby, saying: "You 
cannot have anything now. When you get better, I 
will give you anything you want." 

He paid minute attention to every detail and left 
nothing to be desired in nursing me. I appreciated 
his devotion and was very grateful to him. Later, 


when I was wounded, Takao was no longer my ser- 
vant. He also was wounded, but heard of my injury 
as he was being sent to the rear. He tried hard to "T~ 
search me out in this field hospital or that, but he ITT1 
could not find me and was greatly grieved, as I have ^^ 
since learned. Heaven seemed willing to spare the 
life of such a sincere man as Takao. He had the 
good fortune to come home in the final triumph. 
He was wounded twice, ordered to the front thrice, 
and is now well known as a loyal servant and a vet- 
eran warrior. Frequently he discharged with suc- 
cess the important duties of orderly, his undaunted 
courage and quick sagacity always helping him in 
moments of difficulty. 

Although our camp was, as you have seen, ex- 
posed to merciless attacks of storm, heat, and sick- 
ness, and the enemy's projectiles were frequent visit- 
ors to beguile our lonely moments, nevertheless the 
morale of men and officers improved day by day. 
They were hungering and thirsting for an early 
chance to assume the offensive. 



THE poor Russians who were hopelessly in- 
vested in Port Arthur were being driven back 
into a smaller and smaller space every day, so that 
of necessity they tried desperately to break through 
our line and enlarge their sphere of activity. Their 
repeated repulse at Kenzan had apparently dis- 
couraged further attempts at retaking the hill, but 
almost every day they attacked some spot on our 
line with more or less spirit. However, they were 
never once successful, and their efforts resulted only 
in the loss of ammunition and men. 

About the loth of July, we sent some advance 
patrols to a steep hill in front of our line, which we 
named Iwayama, Rocky Hill. On this spot the ene- 
my's scouts had made their appearance frequently 
and tried to spy out the condition of our defenses. 
So we drove them away, and put up our own line of 
outposts there. It was on the i6th of July, while it 
was yet pitch dark, that Lieutenant Sugimura and a 
handful of men were ordered to this spot. Even in 


summer the night breeze on the continent is cool, 
and the chilly wind swept their faces through the 
darkness and rustled the grass. The men, reduced 
to skin and bone, and with morbidly sensitive nerves 
from their continued insufficiency of sleep, lay watch- 
ing through the darkness with straining eyes, occa- 
sionally putting an ear to the ground to listen for 
footsteps, thinking that the enemy must be sure to 
come on such a night. Suddenly the sentinel's cry 
"The enemy!" was followed by the lieutenant's 
order "Deploy skirmishers!" Cool and coura- 
geous, Sugimura faced the attack with an eager 
determination to defend this important spot to the 
very last. The enemy encircled them from three 
sides, and they were many more than the Japanese, 
though the exact number could not be ascertained 
in the dark. Moreover, the enemy brought machine- 
guns and attacked the Japanese fiercely on the flank. 
These dreadful engines of destruction the Russians 
relied upon as their best means of defense. Our 
army had faced them at Nanshan and been mowed 
down by hundreds and thousands. Imagine Lieu- 
tenant Sugimura, with only a handful of soldiers, 
fearlessly brandishing his long sword and directing 
his men to fight this formidable enemy. The fate 
of the small group of defenders, surrounded by the 
enemy on three sides, was entirely in Sugimura's 
hand. He was so brave and his men so valiant that 
they fought on for two hours and did not yield even 


an inch of ground. In spite of their overwhelming 
numbers, the Russians seemed to find the Japanese 
too much for them, and all at once discontinued the 
attack and disappeared in the darkness. But our 
brave Sugimurawas severely wounded. A shot from 
a machine-gun went through his head. He did not 
succumb to the wound for some minutes, but con- 
tinued to shout and encourage his men, until he saw, 
though his blood was fast running into his eyes, the 
enemy retreat! 

The Russians left more than ten dead behind 
them. Early next morning, July 17, they came with 
a Red- Cross flag and stretchers, coolly approached 
our patrol line, coming as near as fifty metres, 
and trying to peep into our camp under the pre- 
tense of picking up their dead! This, as also their 
unwarranted use of the white flag and of our sun 
flag, was a despicable attempt at deceiving us. Not 
only once, but frequently, did they repeat these 
shabby tricks. One time they showed their mean- 
ness in another way. At one spot our sentinel no- 
ticed a dark shadow coming forward, so cried, as 

"Halt! Who goes there?" 

"Officer of our army " 

The Japanese patrol thought that a scouting 
officer had come back and said: "Pass on!" Sud- 
denly the dark shadow attacked the sentinel with his 
bayonet. The. latter, who was at once undeceived, 

1 20 

exclaimed: "You enemy! Impudent fellow ! Come 
on!" and knocked him down with the stock of his 
rifle. The enemy learned a few Japanese words _L. 
and tried to use them to deceive us. Because the -j- 
Russians did not scruple to resort to such small, un- ZL 
manly tricks, we had always to be very careful and 

Lieutenant Sugimura was picked up and car- 
ried to a barn, where his attendant, Fukumatsu Ito, 
nursed him as a mother would her sick child. The 
faithful Ito grew pale with anxiety and fatigue. With 
his eyes full of tears, he would comfort and nurse 
his master. It was a touching sight to see him so 
thoroughly devoted to Lieutenant Sugimura. When 
the latter was sent to a field hospital, Ito used to go 
to visit him whenever he had leisure, walking a 
great distance over a rough road. One day on my 
way back from the headquarters of the brigade, I 
noticed a soldier coming up the hill, panting under a 
heavy load on his shoulder. Coming nearer, I found 
it was Ito. I asked him: 

"How is Lieutenant Sugimura's wound?" 

" Extremely bad, I am sorry to say. He does not 
understand anything to-day." 

"Indeed! Sugimura must surely be grateful for 
your kind care." 

At this word of praise, Ito dropped a few tears, 
and said: "I do regret that I was not wounded to- 
gether with my lieutenant. I have not had time 


enough to return his kindness to me, and now we 
must part, it seems to me. It would have been far 
better if we had died together. It was but last night 
that my lieutenant grasped my hand in his and said 
to me, 'I am very grateful to you.' I felt so sad then, 
and longed to die with my lieutenant." 

I could not watch this faithful man's face any 
longer. He added, "I must hurry on and see him," 
and went on in a dejected state of mind. His heavy 
parcel was full of Sugimura's things. 

Sugimura's sad wound incited all the officers and 
men to a greater determination to chastise the enemy 
on Taipo-shan in front of us; they were all anxious 
to avenge the death and wounding of so many of 
their comrades. Those who died on outpost duty 
were of course sorry not to give their lives on a 
more glorious battle-field. Some of their dying 
words were so full of indignation and regret that 
they reached the marrow of the hearer's bones. 
As one of the most characteristic instances of this 
kind I venture to introduce a soldier by the name of 
Heigo Yamashita. This man was always earnest 
and obedient in doing his duty and would never 
grudge any amount of toil. His comrades loved and 
respected him and regarded him as a model soldier. 
One day he turned to his best friend and said, most 
solemnly : 

"I never expect to go back alive. I have no other 
desire than that I be allowed to go and meet my 


comrades who died ten years ago, and tell them that 
the vengeance is complete but I have one elder 
brother who is living in poverty. When I die, please i 
let him know how brilliantly my death-flower bios- 

Not long after this, he was ordered to convey an 
important message; on his way back to report the 
successful discharge of his duty, he was shot through 
the abdomen, and cried out: "What of this? A 
mere trifle!" But he could stand no longer. He 
was carried to the first aid station ; the surgeon who 
examined him shook his head sadly and said that 
the man could not be saved. 

The colonel of his regiment paid a visit to this 
valiant soldier and comforted him, saying: "Don't 
lose hope! You suffer badly, but you must keep 
up your courage." But seeing that the man's end 
was fast approaching, the colonel's eyes were dim 
with tears, when he said: "It is a wound of honor! 
You have done well." At this kind word Heigo 
opened his eyes a little and squeezed this forcible 
entreaty out of his agony: "Colonel, please pardon 
me. Pray avenge me." 

His hand trembled, and his lips quivered as if he 
wished to say more; soon he started on the journey 
from which none return. Poor Heigo ! he could not 
join the great fight soon to take place, but died in 
this sad way. An apology for not doing anything 
better and an entreaty to be avenged were the last 


words of this loyal subject. On the following day 
his comrades interred his remains in the field, and 
Chaplain Toyama read prayers and gave him a post- 
humous name according to the Buddhist custom. 
The tomb-post bearing this new name was set up 
facing Port Arthur. 1 

Here I must tell you about a memorial service for 
the dead that was held in the camp. Since our at- 
tack on Kenzan, we had lost no small number of 
men, so his Excellency the Commander of our Divi- 
sion appointed the ist of July for a service in mem- 
ory of those brave souls. An altar was raised on a 
farm near Lingshwuihotszu toward the cloudy even- 
ing of that day. It was called an altar, but in reality 
it was only a desk that we found in a farmer's yard. 
It was covered with white cloth, and a picture of 
Amida Buddha that Chaplain Toyama happened 
to have was hung above it. In front of the altar, 
boxes were piled up containing the ashes, these 
boxes were about five inches square. Also provision 
was made for burning incense, and the altar was set 
facing Port Arthur. The dim light of candles added 
to the gloom and sadness of the occasion ; the insects 
singing far and near seemed to chant about the in- 
constancy of all things. A shower falling through 
the willow-branches, which were being combed by 
the winds, seemed like tears of heaven. The officers 
of the division formed a semicircle before the altar, 

1 To enable his spirit to see the fall of the fortress. 

the soldiers stood behind them, and when the read- 
ing of the Scriptures by the chaplain was ended, the 
commander stepped forward solemnly and offered -+- 
incense, then bowed his head and did not raise it for 
some minutes. His heart was full of untold grief 
and gratitude. His lips were repeating the phrase, 
"You have done well!" The spirits of the brave 
dead must also have been grieved to have left such 
a worthy general. Other officers, one by one, fol- 
lowed the general, bowing and offering incense, 
each sorrowing over his unfortunate subordinates. 
"You have fought bravely and proved the success 
of my training. You have faithfully done your 
duty and been useful instruments in the hands of 
His Majesty," was the silent tribute each officer 
gave his own men. The surviving men, who had 
entered the garrison at the same time with those 
unfortunate comrades and striven with them in the 
performance of their daily duties, must have envied 
their manly, heroic death and wished they had 
so distinguished themselves as to die with them. 
The drops moistening the sleeves of the officers and 
men, now bowing before the altar, were not merely 
from the shower of heaven. 



AFTER we repulsed the enemy at Kenzan in 
their desperate attempts at retaking the hill, 
our position increased daily in strength. On the 
one hand, every preparation was being made for 
an aggressive movement. Twelve guns captured 
at Nanshan were arranged on the heights near 
Lwanni-chiao, and six heavy naval guns were placed 
on the height to the west of Chuchin-antsu. On the 
other hand, powerful scouting parties were being 
frequently dispatched to ascertain the arrangement 
of the advance posts of the enemy. At this time, 
the enemy's main position was on the steep hills 
between Eijoshi in the north with Shwangtai-kou 
and Antsu-ling in the middle, and Taipo-shan and 
Laotso-shan in the south. They had fortified these 
naturally strong places with everything that money 
and time could afford, fully determined not to allow 
us Japanese to advance even one step south of this 
line. So it was extremely difficult to take this posi- 
tion by storm. But we had been drawing our bow 
for a month, and were now quite ready and anxious 

to let the arrow go. The opportunity ripened, the 
men's morale was at its best. On July 26, all the 
columns and corps started from our position with 
one accord to descend upon the Russian position in 
the south. 

The sole objective of the regiment to which I 
belonged was the strongly fortified Taipo-shan, on 
which the enemy relied as the most important point 
in their advance position. On the night previous 
to the opening of hostilities the plan of campaign 
was minutely explained to us; the brigadier-general 
specially urged officers and men to do their utter- 
most and never to stop until the place was captured, 
saying that this battle was the first important step 
toward the real investment of Port Arthur, and that 
we were to attack the strongest of the enemy's ad- 
vance posts. Our colonel also addressed us, and said 
that this was the first time that our regiment was 
to fight as a whole; that the final victory of a battle 
is, in fact, won early in the struggle; that all our 
lives belonged to him as our commander and that 
he would not hesitate to sacrifice them, but would 
resort to whatever means he might think advisable, 
during the act of fighting. He also told us that this 
was the time for us to put to test the spirit of Bu- 
shido, 1 in which we had been long and carefully 

1 The Japanese code of knightly honor. For further partic- 
ulars see "Bushido, or The Soul of Japan," by Inazo Nitobe, 
published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. 


trained; that we must remember his every-play in- 
structions in general and the one given on the day 
of our departure from the garrison in particular, so 
that we might concentrate our thoughts and aspira- 
tions upon justifying His Majesty's gracious trust 
in us, and be ready to fall, all of us, under the hon- 
ored banner of our regiment. This was truly a sol- 
emn injunction ! The commanders of the battalions 
and companies followed suit, and each of us was 
carefully put in mind of his duty and urged to do 
his very best to keep the honor of the regiment 
unsullied. Thus our already willing determina- 
tion was made still firmer and stronger. We were 
in such an uplifted state of mind that we had 
taken the whole of Taipo-shan before beginning 

The scene in the camp presented an extraordinary 
sight during the night previous to our march. Com- 
rade was whispering with comrade here and there. 
Some there were who grasped their rifles lightly and 
smiled a lonely smile by themselves. Others changed 
to their best and cleanest underwear, so that they 
might not disgrace themselves before the enemy, 
dead in dirty clothing. Still others were looking 
vacantly into the heavens and singing in an under- 
tone. And what was I thinking at this moment? 
All, I hope, were equally anxious to be able to 
die happy and contented, saying, "I have done my 
duty, by the blessing of Heaven." 


Before daybreak of the 26th of July, when the 
fog was so thick that we could not see a foot 
ahead, and a cool breeze was sweeping through *- 
space after the shower of the previous evening, thou- _!_ 
sands of warriors began to move like a long ser- * 
pent through the dark. At 3 A. M. we reached the 
foot of Iwayama, which was assigned to the reserve 
of our regiment. On the top of this hill was the posi- 
tion for the skirmishers; another hill to the right 
was assigned to the artillery. Until the signal for 
opening hostilities was given, even one man's head 
was not allowed to be thrust out of the line. All 
loaded their guns and were breathlessly waiting for 
the colonel's order, "Fire!" He was standing on 
the top of Iwayama with his field-glasses in his 
hand; his aide-de-camp stood before him with an 
open map, and occasionally fumbled about in his 
knapsack. Pack-horses loaded with ammunition 
were gathered together at the foot of the hill, and 
the soldiers detailed to distribute it were eagerly 
waiting to begin work. The signal was to be a 
cannon-shot ; we studied the hands of our watches 
and our hearts jumped as the time went on minute 
after minute. 

At forty-nine minutes past seven, the first roar 
was at last heard on the left wing. It was the signal 
for commencing attack on the enemy along Laotso- 
shan and Taipo-shan. For the last twenty days, 
we had not discharged a single shot, so this cannon 


report must have taken the enemy unawares, and 
their hurried response sounded dull and sleepy and 
went high above our heads. Our plan was that the 
left wing should first attack and defeat the enemy on 
Laotso-shan, and then our detachment was to rein- 
force it. So we had to remain idle for some time and 
watch the progress of their attack on Laotso-shan. 
After a while, our naval guns began to make such a 
tremendous noise, that we hoped the enemy would 
soon be scared to death and give up their advance 
posts as our easy prey. But they proved stronger 
than we thought and did not disperse themselves 
like baby-spiders before our assault. 

The fight increased in severity as time went on; 
our whole artillery was concentrated upon the heavy 
artillery on the northern slope of Laotso-shan and 
endeavored with might and main to silence them. 
After some time, when the enemy's fire had slack- 
ened a little, our infantry of the left wing began to 
march forward under the protecting fire of our ar- 
tillery. At once they captured a crescent-shaped 
height, about two thousand metres ahead of us; 
immediately afterward they turned to the left and 
occupied the northern shoulder of Laotso-shan at 
ten o'clock. It seemed that the Russians had not 
fortified these places very strongly, for, after some 
resistance, they gave up the large fort on the import- 
ant spot of Laotso-shan. Still their resistance was 
quite stubborn, and even when our infantry occu- 


pied the top of the hill, a portion of the enemy still 
stuck to the southern slope and stood fearlessly and 
desperately under our concentrated downward fire. 
This was the cause of the long duration of this at- * 
tack. Eventually our left wing succeeded in routing * 
and driving them away from this spot; but they 
had the inlet of Lungwang-tang at their back and 
could not retreat in that direction. Soon they were 
hard pressed and obliged to leave many dead and 
wounded behind; the remainder jumped into junks 
and concealed themselves on the opposite side of 
the inlet. 

The work assigned to the left wing being thus 
finished, our regiment now had the great oppor- 
tunity of attacking the enemy. Whereupon Colonel 
Aoki ordered all his captains, "Whole line begin 
firing from the right." All at once the whole line 
thrust out its head, the first and second battalions 
on the right and the third on the left. Their firing 
sounded like popping corn. As soon as we began, 
the Russian bullets began to fall in large drops 
about us, stirring up sand, kicking stones, and fell- 
ing men. Those that passed near our ears made a 
whistling sound, and those going high through the 
air, a trembling boom. Our skirmish-line, forming 
a long chain, lost its links here and there; the car- 
riers of stretchers ran hither and thither conveying 
the dead and wounded to the first aids. There was 
not only the hail of rifle-shot, but large projectiles 

began to burst over our heads and emit white smoke. 
The fragments of shell fell on the ground with a 
thud and made holes, or pierced the skirmishers' 
heads from above. Sometimes the empty case of 
a shell would go past the hill and fall in the midst 
of our reserve. While I was still with the reserve I 
actually saw a soldier, who was struck by such an 
empty shell, lose his right arm and die on the spot. 
When we examined an empty shell later on, we 
discovered inside it, first a piece of overcoat, then a 
piece of coat, then a piece of undershirt, then flesh 
and bone, then again underwear, coat, and over- 
coat, together with grass and pebbles stained with 

This struggle lasted for several hours ; the enemy's 
artillery was very strong and we could not find a 
chance to go forward. Our dead and wounded in- 
creased so fast that the stretchers prepared were 
not sufficient. The fire reached even the first aid 
stations far in the rear. Some wounded soldiers there 
were injured again or killed. It was a desperate 
fight. The reserves were brought about to the left 
of the artillery's position, so that they could form 
an assaulting column at a moment's notice and 
rush upon the enemy when the opportunity came. 
At this time I was with them, carrying the regi- 
mental flag. Because our position was with the ar- 
tillery and because the flag was a great target for the 
enemy, the Russians in Wangchia-tun began at once 


a fierce fire on us. Their concentrated fire was well 
aimed, and their shells came like rain, falling side' 
ways in the wind. When the smoke cleared awa} ** 
for a minute, we found a lieutenant who had, just a *-. 
moment before, been bravely ordering his men, lying 
dead covered with blood. The chief of the gun de- 
tachment and also the gunners were torn to pieces, 
their brains gushing out and their bowels mixing 
with mud and blood. When the reserve gunners 
went to take their places, they also were killed. 
Such a bloody scene can never be realized without 
an actual sight; my pen is powerless to describe it. 
Our reserve having suffered no small loss before 
the strong fire of the enemy, we had no resource 
left but to try a desperate assault upon them. Every 
moment longer that we remained in this position 
meant the loss of so many more men. Clouds had 
been gathering and lowering in the sky for some 
time; it was dark and dreary. Soon the swift wind 
ran side by side with powder and smoke, and muddy 
rain fell obliquely with the shot and shell. At this 
dismal stage of affairs we, the reserves, were ordered 
to join the colonel. We at once left the artillery and 
began to march to the left, clambering over the 
rocks. The sharp wind flapped the colors vio- 
lently, and I feared that they might be torn to 
pieces any moment. At this juncture a shell burst 
over my head and its fragments rent the air; a part 
of the flag was blown away, a man was killed, 



and a piece of the shell fell into a valley far be- 
hind us. 

As was said before, the colonel was on the top 
of Iwayama; the enemy was sure that our strength 
was concentrated there and showered upon it a hail- 
storm of shrapnel. Colonel Aoki stood in the midst 
of that as firm and unflinching as Ni-o or Fudo, 1 
staring at the enemy with steady gaze. When I ap- 
proached him and reported the tearing of the flag, 
he simply remarked, "So!" After a while he said, 
"Is n't this just like a manoeuvre?" 

He was so full of courage and strength, his fear- 
less and composed attitude was such an inspiration 
to his subordinates, that the somewhat despondent 
soldiers at once recovered their spirits and energy 
on looking up at his face. 

It was already 2 P. M., and yet the fighting had 
not come to any decisive result. Our casualties in- 
creased in number hour after hour. At this moment 
a portion of our left wing began to move forward. 
Our detachment was also ordered forward, where- 
upon the whole line of men rose like a dark fence, 
and pushed on right to the muzzles of the enemy's 
guns. The Russians seized this opportunity to in- 
crease the intensity of their fire; those of us who 

1 Ni-6, the two kings, Indra and Brahma, who keep guard 
at the gateways of Buddhist temples, to scare away demons. 
They are noted for their grimness of expression. Fudo, the 
" Immovable," the God of Wisdom, who is represented of stern 
expression, and surrounded by a halo of flames. 


went forward were mowed down, and those who did 
not press on were already dead! Lieutenant Yat- 
suda was shot through the chest, yet he continued 
to shout, "Forward! Forward!" paying no atten- 
tion to the gushing blood and without letting his men 
know of his wound. He pressed on furiously about 
a thousand metres toward the enemy, and when he 
approached the line to be occupied he shouted Ban- 
zai faintly and died. 

A brave commander's men are always brave ! One 
of Yatsuda's men had his right arm shattered be- 
fore his lieutenant was shot, but he would not stay 
behind. When the lieutenant told him to go to the 
first aid, he said, "Why, such a tiny wound! I can 
still fight very well, sir." He poured out water from 
his bottle and washed his wound, bound it up with a 
Japanese towel, and pressed on panting with the 
skirmishers, his gun in his left hand. When he came 
near the enemy's line, he was killed by the side of 
Lieutenant Yatsuda, whom the brave fellow con- 
sidered his elder brother. Even in his death he 
grasped his gun firmly. Both of them showed the 
true spirit of Japanese warriors, doing their duty 
till the last moment and even after death. 

At last the reserve in the hands of Colonel Aoki 
was reduced to two companies of infantry and one 
of engineers. What a disastrous struggle this had 
been! Ever since morning our artillery had been try- 
ing hard to silence the powerful guns of the enemy. 


Their desperate efforts were all in vain, and the 
strong posts of the enemy remained without damage. 
What a disappointment ! Our infantry were already 
only five or six hundred metres from the enemy, 
but until our artillery should have destroyed the 
offensive and defensive works of the Russian forts, 
an assault would have resulted only in complete 
annihilation. So these infantry men were patiently 
waiting quite close to the enemy for the right 
moment to come. The long summer day at last 
came to its close, and the dreary curtain of darkness 
enveloped the scene of battle. 

The rain ceased for awhile, but the night was dis- 
mal. Hundreds of dead bodies were strewn on hill 
and in valley, while the enemy's forts towered high 
against the dark sky as if challenging us to a fruit- 
less attack. But our morale was not at all impaired; 
on the contrary, this day's failure added to our firm 
resolve to storm and defeat the Russians on the 
next. During the night the firing of guns and rifles 
went on unceasingly, and in carrying the dead we 
had to use tents to supply the deficiency of stretchers. 
The wounded were also picked up and carried to 
the rear by the ambulance men. And we who had 
escaped injury sat by the side of our silent dead and 
without sleep waited impatiently for a better day to 


ON the next day, the 2yth, fully determined 
to drive out the enemy, our entire artillery 
began firing at early dawn, striving to open a pas- 
sage for our infantry. Our bombardment was more 
violent than on the previous day, and the enemy's 
response was also proportionately fiercer. Why was 
it that the Russian forts were so strangely impreg- 
nable? On the line connecting the heights their 
trenches were faced with rocks and covered with 
timber roofs, and they could fire at us through port- 
holes, safely concealed and protected from our burst- 
ing shells. They had quick-firing guns and machine- 
guns arranged in different places so that they could 
fire at us from all points and directions, and these 
formidable guns were well protected with strong 
works built of strong material. Added to all this, 
the side of our hill and the opposite side of their 
hill formed a rocky valley with almost perpendicu- 
lar walls, so that we could not climb down or up 
without superhuman efforts. To attack such a 
strongly armed enemy in a place of such natural 


advantage meant a great amount of sacrifice on 
our part. 

So long as our artillery remained unsuccessful, 
our rifle fire was of course of no use. Somehow we 
must damage the enemy's machine-guns, otherwise 
all our efforts would end only in adding to our al- 
ready long list of dead and wounded. This we well 
understood, but if we could not utilize our firearms, 
our only and last resource was to shoot off human 
beings, to attack with bullets of human flesh. With 
such unique weapons, human bullets, the consoli- 
dated essence of Yamato Damashii, how could we 
fail to rout the enemy? Orders were soon given. 
The fifth, seventh, and tenth companies of our regi- 
ment precipitated themselves down into the valley 
and began a furious assault on the enemy; where- 
upon the Russian artillery, who had hitherto been 
aiming at our artillery, directed their guns upon 
this forlorn hope, this rushing column. Simultane- 
ously all the machine-guns and all the infantry in 
the forts concentrated their fire upon this desperate 
body, who pressed on like a swift wind with shouts 
and yells, not a whit daunted by this devilish 
fire. Their shrieks and the cannon-roar combined 
sounded like a hundred thunders thundering at the 
same moment. Press on ! rush in ! They fought like 
so many furies, wounded officers unheeded and 
fallen comrades ignored! Stepping on and jump- 
ing over the dead and dying, the survivors came at 


last within a dozen metres or so of the enemy. But 
they could not overcome nature the rocky preci- 
pice stood like a screen before them, and half their 
comrades were strewn dead on the side of the hill 
at their backs; they could do nothing but stand 
there facing and staring at the enemy. While this 
assaulting column was pressing on under the heavy 
shower of shells and bullets, the sight was stirring 
beyond words; the men moved on like light gray 
shadows enshrouded in volumes of smoke. Some of 
them were seen flying high up in the air, hurled by 
the big shells. When their bodies were picked up, 
some had no wound at all, but the skin had turned 
purplish all over. This was caused by the throwing 
up and consequent heavy fall on the ground. 

The enemy's resistance was so stubborn that our 
fire seemed as powerless as beating a big temple- 
bell with a pin. If we had gone on in this way, we 
might have failed entirely. We had to attempt a 
final charge at the risk of annihilation. Soon the fol- 
lowing order was given by the brigadier-general : 

"The courageous behavior of our officers and 
men since the beginning of the battle is worthy of all 
admiration. Our brigade is to attack the enemy 
along the eastern side of Taipo-shan at 5 P. M. to- 
day, to bombard with the entire force of the artillery, 
and the left wing to charge when our bombardment 
opens to them an opportunity, and thus to over- 
whelm and defeat the enemy. Your regiment must 


strive with the utmost effort to improve this op- 
portunity and occupy the enemy's position at your 

Yes, we were anxious to defeat the enemy with 
our utmost and most desperate effort ! This was the 
day for us to unfurl our colors high above the ene- 
my's fortress and to comfort the spirits of those who 
during the past few days had died without hearing 
a triumphant Banzai. 

A group of officers, while waiting for a proper 
opportunity to strike, were talking about the condi- 
tion of affairs since the previous morning. 

"The enemy is certainly brave! I noticed a Rus- 
sian officer commanding his men from the top of a 

"Yes, they are fighting hard; but we must carry 
their position to-day!" 

We were beginning to feel that the Russian strength 
came not only from their mechanical defenses, but 
also from their intrepid behavior; but all were 
agreed in their ardent resolve to defeat the enemy 
and avenge their unfortunate comrades. Presently 
a young officer came along with a bottle of beer. 
Since the previous day we had been almost with- 
out food or drink, and this bottle of beer seemed a 
strange sight on the battle-field. We all wondered 
who he might be, and as he drew nearer we recog- 
nized Lieutenant Kwan, adjutant of the battalion. 

"Isn't it a rare treat, this beer? I have been 

carrying this bottle in my belt since yesterday, to 
drink a Banzai in the enemy's position. But now let 
us drink it together as a farewell cup. You have all j 
been very kind to me I have made up my mind to | 
die beautifully to-day." 

The young officer talked very cheerily and yet in 
real earnest, and filled his aluminum cup with the 
golden beverage. The cup went round among the 
group, and we smiled a melancholy smile over 
the drink. This ceremony over, Lieutenant Kwan 
raised the empty bottle high in the air and shouted, 
" I pray for your health ! " and ran away to bury the 
dead. How could we know that this was his true 
farewell ? Soon afterwards, without waiting for the 
happy moment of shouting Banzai in the enemy's 
position, he joined the ranks of the illustrious dead. 
He and I came from the same province and we were 
very old and intimate friends; he loved me as his 
younger brother. So, every time we met on the bat- 
tle-field, we used to grasp each other's hand with 
fervor and say, "Are you all right?" Even such an 
exchange of words was an occasion of great pleasure 
to us. At this meeting, not knowing of course that 
it was the last time I was to see him, I failed to 
thank him for all his past friendship toward me. We 
had such a hurried, unsatisfactory, eternal good-by, 
as is usual on the battle-field. I learned afterward 
that the lieutenant, while superintending the burial 
of the dead, said to his men: "Please cover them 


carefully with earth, because I myself am to be 
treated in the same way very soon." 

Was he really conscious of his impending death ? 
Lieutenant Yatsuda also, who died earlier than 
Kwan, suddenly pulled out a packet of dry chest- 
nuts 1 from his pocket during his advance and said 
to his servant: "This was offered to the gods by my 
mother, and she told me to eat this without fail be- 
fore fighting. I will eat one and you also eat one. 
This may be our last farewell!" 

They bowed politely and munched the hard nuts 
together! Of course we were all ready for death, and 
each time we met we thought was the last. But when 
the true moment comes, some mysterious, invisible 
wire seems to bring the sad message to the heart. 

It was 5 P. M. Our whole artillery opened fire at 
the same time, and the whole force of infantry also 
joined in the bombardment. Heaven and earth at 
once became dark with clouds of smoke, and the war 
of flying balls and exploding shells threatened to 
rend mountain and valley. This was meant to be 
the decisive battle, so its violence and fury were be- 
yond description. Our infantry shot and advanced, 
stopped and shot, rushing on and jumping forward. 
The hail-storm of the enemy's projectiles did not al- 
low them to march straight on. Sometimes "Lieu- 

1 Kacki-guri, dry chestnuts. The word kachi also means 
victory, hence it is one of the articles given to a departing soldier 
as a wish for his success. 

tenant" was the last faint word of gratitude from a 
dying man. Again " A-a !" was the only sound made 
by the expiring soldier. But this was not the mo- ' ! 
ment to take notice of these sickening scenes; we .!_ 
had to press on if it were only an inch nearer the 
enemy. What did the brigadier-general say in his 
message ? " I admire your bravery," were the words. 
Did he not say, "strive with your utmost effort"? 
Forward ! march ! advance ! and be killed ! This was 
not the time to stop for even half a moment ! Such 
was the thought, and such were the words of en- 
couragement from the officers, who ran about right 
and left on the battle-line, brandishing their drawn 
swords, stirring up their men and inspiring them 
with invincible spirit. Two companies of reserves 
and reserve engineers were also sent to the first line. 
At last our First Battalion came within twenty metres 
of the enemy, but the screen-like rocky hill on which 
there was hardly any foothold still stood before 
them. Desperately anxious to climb up, yet utterly 
unable to do so while the shower of the enemy's 
bullets swept them from the side, the Second Com- 
pany facing the enemy's front became a mere tar- 
get for the Russians' machine-guns and was mowed 
down in a few brief moments. One bullet went 
through the sword blade and slightly injured the left 
eye of Captain Matsumaru. Our artillery fire made 
a pyrotechnic display in the air, but did hardly any 
damage to the enemy's defensive constructions. 

Shrapnel was of no avail : we had to explode spheri- 
cal shells, and smash the covering of the enemy's 
trenches. " Even at the risk of damage to our own 
infantry, fire spherical shells as rapidly as possible," 
was the message repeatedly sent to the artillery, but 
no single orderly came back alive: all were killed 
before reaching their destination. The lieutenant 
of the engineers was ordered to send explosives, but 
this also could not be done in time. 

Seven o'clock had passed, eight o'clock too, and 
it was now nine, but there was no improvement in 
our condition. The First Battalion was obliged to 
halt for a while. The commander of the Second 
Battalion, Major Temai, was seriously wounded; the 
adjutant, while reconnoitring a route for the assault, 
was shot through the head and died as he turned 
and said, " Report ! " The Third Battalion came close 
to the enemy, but could do nothing more: its dead 
and wounded increased moment after moment. Our 
situation was just like that of a small fish about 
to be swallowed by a huge whale, we could not 
improve it by our own efforts. However, such was 
the tenacity of purpose and invincible courage per- 
vading our ranks, that our determination and re- 
sourcefulness became greater as the enemy proved 
more difficult to subdue. All the battalions, more 
particularly the First, were now breaking rocks with 
picks and piling up stones to make footholds. But 
the work was not easy, so near the enemy that both 


parties were like two tigers showing their teeth and 
threatening to tear each other to pieces. The Rus- 
sians tried hard to hinder our work; the slightest 
sound of a pick would immediately invite a tongue 
of fire that licked the place around us ravenously. 
In the midst of this great difficulty, a sort of foothold 
was made at last, and now we were ready to push in 
with one accord! 

The night was growing old ; a dismal waning moon 
was shining dimly over the battle-ground, showing 
one half of our camp in a light black-and-white 
picture. Major Uchino, commander of the Second 
Battalion, sent the following message to our colonel : 

" Our battalion is about to try an assault, expect- 
ing its own annihilation. I hope that you also will 
assume the offensive. I sincerely hope and believe 
that my most revered and beloved colonel will be 
the successful commander of the attack, and that by 
the time the sun rises our honored regimental flag 
may fly over the enemy's parapets. I hereby offer 
my respects and farewell to you." 

Then we heard the solemn tune of "Kimi ga yo" 
sounded by trumpets far away at the left wing. The 
moon shone through the small sky of our valley, and 
the long-drawn faint echo of the national air seemed 
to penetrate our hearts. The music sounded to us 
as if His Majesty were ordering us forward in per- 
son. The officers and men straightened themselves 
up, leaped and bounded with overwhelming courage, 


all at once burst over the enemy's breastworks with 
shouts and yells, braving the shower of fire and 
clambering over the rocks and stones. Major Mat- 
sumura, at the head of the foremost group of men, 
shouted with stirring and flaming eyes: "Charge! 
forward ! " The music swelled still more inspiringly, 
and all the succeeding bands of men shouted Banzai 
with an earth-shaking voice and encouraged their 
onrushing comrades. At the top of the hill the clash 
of bayonets scattered sparks hand-to-hand con- 
flict at close quarters was the last effort, the impact 
of the human bullets, the sons of Yamato. "You 
haughty land-grabbers, see now the folly of your 
policy," was the idea with which every man struck 
his blow, the consequence being a stream of blood 
and a hill of corpses. It was a hard struggle, but 
at the same time it was a great joy to defeat the 
enemy after repeated failures ! Body after body of 
men rushed in like waves the Russians found it 
altogether too much for them. They wavered and 
yet continued for some time longer to resist us in 
close hand-to-hand fight, while we increased in 
courage and strength in proportion to their diminu- 
tion of power. At last, at 8 A. M. of July 28, when 
the eastern sky was crimson, we became the undis- 
puted masters of the heights of Taipo-shan. 

The imperial colors waved high above our new 
camp, and the Banzai of rejoicing arose like surges 
of the sea! 




BEFORE we at last secured the enemy's posi- 
tion along the heights of Taipo-shan, all of us, 
from the division commander to the lowest soldier, 
had exerted our perseverance and bravery to the 
uttermost. We had fought against an enemy hav- 
ing a position naturally advantageous and strongly 
fortified; we had fought for fifty-eight hours with- 
out food, drink, or sleep, against a desperately 
stubborn foe. Our final success was pregnant of 
many important results to the subsequent plan of 
campaign. The battle of Nanshan, with more than 
four thousand casualties, had been considered the 
hardest of struggles so far; but, compared with 
Taipo-shan, Nanshan was won at a low cost. At 
Nanshan the enemy had an extended slope before 
them, where they swept away our attacking forces 
from a secure position. The nature of the ground 
along Taipo-shan was totally different, built up with 
perpendicular hills and deep valleys. We could de- 
fend ourselves in a dead angle, or could conceal 
and cover ourselves easily. And yet our casualties 


here amounted to the same number as at Nanshan. 
You can judge from this fact how severe was the 

For three days we contended for a small space of 
ground; no food at all could be conveyed from the 
rear.. We only munched hard biscuits, our "iron 
rations," could not dip with one hand a drop of water 
to drink, and did not sleep even a moment. But 
because we were so excited and anxious and deter- 
mined, no thought occurred to us of being sleepy or 
hungry. The Russians also were in a similar condi- 
tion. When we examined their skirmish-trenches, 
after our occupation of the place, we found them full 
of nastiness; the men must have remained there 
without moving one step for the long fifty-eight 
hours. The only difference was that they had no 
difficulty in the way of provisions, for our men were 
made happy with the black bread, lump-sugar, etc., 
that the enemy had left behind. 

The first thing we felt when our work was done 
was sleepiness! We desired nothing but sleep. 
Groups here and there, talking about their dead 
comrades and their experiences, soon began to nod, 
one man after another, and would lie down under 
the coverings of the enemy's trenches in a most 
innocent, childlike manner. The Russian dead 
scattered all about, weltering in blood, did not dis- 
turb their profound sleep. Neither did they think of 
eating or drinking; their snores sounded like dis- 
- 148 

tant thunder. Occasional bullets of the enemy did 
not disturb them even as much as the humming of 
mosquitoes. * 

The sublimity of a battle can only be seen in the iA 
midst of showers of bullet and shell, but the dismal ' 
horror of it can best be observed when the actual 
struggle is over. The shadow of impartial Death 
visits friend and foe alike. When the shocking mas- 
sacre is over, countless corpses covered with blood 
lie long and flat in the grass and between stones. 
What a deep philosophy their cold faces tell ! When 
we saw the dead at Nanshan, we could not help cov- 
ering our eyes in horror and disgust. But the scene 
here, though equally shocking, did not make us 
shudder half so much. Some were crushed in head 
and face, their brains mixing with dust and earth. 
The intestines of others were torn out and blood 
was trickling from them. The sight of these things, 
however, did not horrify us very much. At Nan- 
shan we did not actually fight, but only visited the 
scene afterward. This time we were accustomed to 
these sights through the long hours of suffering and 
desperate struggle. 

At Nanshan, with the enemy's dead in front of us, 
we could not but sympathize with and pity them; 
but here we hated and loathed them. How were 
they to blame? Were not they also warriors who 
died in the discharge of their duty? But after a 
hard struggle with them, in which we had had to sac- 


rifice the lives of so many of our beloved men, our 
hearts involuntarily hated our opponents, who we 
wished had yielded to us more easily, but who re- 
sisted us to their utmost and butchered our men 
from their secure trenches, thrusting out their guns 
from the holes. Of course our reason does not sanc- 
tion it, but those who have had experience in actual 
fighting will easily sympathize with this sense of 
hatred and indignation at the sight of the dead of a 
brave but stubborn foe. Of course it is a silly thing, 
and we do all admire without stint their valor and 
perseverance. Their success in keeping us at bay 
for fifty-eight hours, under our overwhelming at- 
tack, is certainly worthy of a great military power. 
One Russian was found dead in a skirmish-trench 
with his head bandaged. Probably he fought on 
bravely in spite of his first wound until a second shot 
from our side gave him his death-blow. Those Rus- 
sian dead, scattered in front of their breastworks, 
must have been the brave ones who rushed out of 
their trenches when we burst in, and fought us with 
their bayonets and fists. Some had photographs 
of their wives and children in their bosoms, and 
these pictures were bespattered with blood. One in- 
clined so to do may condemn it as effeminate and 
weak to carry such things into battle; but thousands 
of miles away from home, at the dismal and bloody 
seat of war, where they could not hear from their 
beloved ones, was it not natural for them to yearn 

after them deep down in their hearts and console 
themselves with the sight of these pictures? It is 
human nature that every new landscape, every new 
phase of the moon, makes one think of home and 1*1 
friends and brave fighters are also human, are * 
they not? 

"The bravest is the tenderest, 
The loving are the daring." 

Are not these the poet's words ? Those poor Rus- 
sian soldiers, hunted out to the battle-field by the 
fury of oppression, had to suffer and die far away 
from home. Their situation deserves nothing but 
commiseration and sympathy! 

As soon as the battle was over, my servant came 
to me with a hold-all left by the Russians. We 
opened it and found it full of all kinds of things, and 
among them a suit of Chinese clothes. This latter 
item was a surprise to us, and also an explanation. 
We had seen Russian scouts in Chinese costume 
who had appeared within our picket-line, and now 
at last we had found out their secret. They were 
certainly clever in the trick of quickly changing 
costume and character as if on the stage. During 
the War of American Independence, the English 
sentries were killed almost nightly by the enemy clad 
in goat-skins. Had the Russians learned the art 
from the Americans? They tried every trick in 
scouting it was not only the real Russians who 
undertook this work, but even ghosts and appari- 

tions were invited to join. We found also Japanese 
flags that they had left ; perhaps they had even tried 
to deceive us with our own colors. 

After this battle we captured some damaged 
machine-guns; this was the firearm most dreaded 
by us. A large iron plate serves the purpose of a 
shield, through which aim is taken, and the trigger 
can be pulled while the gun is moving upward, down- 
ward, to the left, or to the right. More than six 
hundred bullets are pushed out automatically in 
one minute, as if a long, continuous rod of balls was 
being thrown out of the gun. It can also be made 
to sprinkle its shot as roads are watered with a hose. 
It can cover a larger or smaller space, or fire to a 
greater or less distance as the gunner wills. There- 
fore, if one becomes the target of this terrible engine 
of destruction, three or four shot may go through 
the same place in rapid succession, making the 
wound very large. The bullets are of the same size 
as those used in rifles. A large number of these shot 
are inserted in a long canvas belt and this belt is 
loaded into the chamber of the gun ; it works like 
the film of the vitascope. And the sound it makes ! 
Heard close by, it is a rapid succession of tap, tap, 
tap; but from a distance it sounds like a power loom 
heard late at night when everything else is hushed. 
It is a sickening, horrible sound ! The Russians re- 
garded this machine-gun as their best friend, and 
certainly it did very much as a means of defense. 

They were wonderfully clever in the use of this ma- 
chine. They would wait till our men came very near 
them, four or five ken only, and just at the moment T 
when we proposed to shout a triumphant Banzai, 
this dreadful machine would begin to sweep over 
us as if with the besom of destruction, the result be- 
ing hills and mounds of dead. After this battle of 
Taipo-shan we discovered in the enemy's position 
the body of one soldier called Hyodo, who had been 
one of the forlorn-hope scouts of the Second Com- 
pany. He had no less than forty-seven shot in his 
body, twenty-five on the right arm only. Another 
soldier of a neighboring regiment received more than 
seventy shot. These instances prove how destructive 
is the machine-gun ! Of course, the surgeons could 
not locate so many wounds in one body, and they in- 
vented a new name, "Whole body honeycombed with 
gun- wounds." Whenever our army attacked the 
enemy's position, it was invariably this machine-gun 
that made us suffer and damaged us most severely. 

In this camp we found four or five of the enemy's 
war-dogs dead. They were strongly built, with short 
brown hair and sharp clever faces. They were shot 
by our guns, and, though brutes, had participated in 
the honorable death of the battle-field. The Rus- 
sians train these dogs for war purposes and make 
them useful in more ways than one. I am told that 
sometimes these dogs acted as scouts. 

I carefully inspected the scene of this terrible 


fight and learned how strong were both the natural 
position and the arrangements for defense. I almost 
marveled at our final success, even with a terrible 
loss of life and blood. Our engineers dug out a num- 
ber of ground-mines and destroyed wire-entangle- 
ments put up -by the enemy. The Russian loss was 
also very severe; a large number of their dead were 
left in the camp or on the line of their retreat those 
whom they with difficulty picked up, were piled 
upon ten or more ox-carts and carried away through 
Hanchia-tun toward Port Arthur. 

Let me leave the battle-field for a while and tell 
you what impression our army gave the Russians, 
and also recount the story of one or two valiant sol- 
diers. After this battle, our detachment picked up a 
note written by the commander of a Russian divi- 
sion. Translated, it is as follows : 

"The Japanese army knows how to march, but 
not how to retreat. Once they begin to attack a 
position, they continue most fiercely and most obsti- 
nately. That I can approve of, but when circum- 
stances do not permit a forward march, a retreat 
may sometimes be made useful. But the Japanese 
always continue an attack irrespective of the amount 
of danger. Probably the Japanese books of tactics 
make no study at all of retreating." 

Is ours a mere "wild-boar" courage, not to know 
how to retreat? "Back-roving" (sakaro) was ridi- 
culed by the old warriors of Japan our modern 


fighters also despise the idea of retreating. It may 
be a mistake, but " to show one's back to the enemy" 
has always been considered the greatest disgrace a 
samurai could bring upon himself. This idea is the 
central military principle of the people of Japan. 
This note of the Russian general is good testimony 
to the spirit pervading our ranks, "determined to 
death " and to fight on with strenuous perseverance. 
Every time we fought we won, because we did not 
believe in retreating. The Russians, who were taught 
to believe that a retreat may sometimes be made 
useful, and who often boasted of their "masterly 
retreats," do not seem to have gained many vic- 
tories by their skill in falling back. 

To illustrate the truth of the Russian general's 
statement as to the spirit and determination of our 
men, I will recount here one or two instances. On 
the 2yth one Sukeichi Matsumoto, assigned to the 
duty of a scout, braved the storm of fire and en- 
couraged his comrades, always at the head of the 
little group and pressing on hard. Just after the 
dawn of that day he noticed blood trickling down 
his face, upon which he cried, "I'm done for!" He 
repeated the exclamation several times in succession 
and then fell. His corporal ran to the spot, raised 
him, and cried: "Keep up your spirits, my man!" 
Upon which Sukeichi opened his eyes, grasped 
the corporal's hand, and said, with a smile: "Why! 
I'm all right! Please march on!" Scarcely had the 


words escaped from his lips when he breathed 
his last. 

There was a particularly brave sergeant called 
Sembain the Eighth Company. In the battle of Ken- 
zan he distinguished himself by rushing in before 
others upon the enemy. He was used to march on, 
crying all the time, "/will avenge you, depend upon 
it!" thus comforting the dying or wounded who lay 
along his way. This he meant as an eternal farewell 
or a healing word as the case might be. So his sub- 
ordinates loved him as their elder brother and 
thought they would be perfectly satisfied if they 
could die with Sergeant Semba. His lieutenant es- 
pecially loved this sergeant and believed him to be 
better than a hundred ordinary men. For all diffi- 
cult duties, he singled out this Semba, whose efforts 
were usually successful because of his composure 
and bravery. On the 2yth, when the desperate 
march was set afoot, the sergeant held his men 
firmly together and pressed on headlong, crying, 
as usual, "/ will avenge you, depend upon it!" to 
those falling right and left. At last he himself 
fell at the feet of his lieutenant, who tried to raise 
him and felt warm blood running over his hands. 
"I'm done for!" said the sergeant, faintly. "Keep 
up your spirits, Sergeant Semba!" The brave fel- 
low spat out the blood that was filling his throat and 
with his eyes full of tears said: "Lieutenant! Port 
Arthur " Without finishing his sentence he ex- 


pired. Did he mean to say that he regretted dying 
before the final assault on Port Arthur ? Or did he 
pray with tears that that fortress might fall into # 
our hands as quickly as possible ? Whatever it might ft 
be, one thing is certain, that this true patriot thought 
of nothing but Port Arthur in the moment of his 


SINCE the opening of hostilities on the heights 
to the northeast of Hwangni-chuan and Ta- 
shang-tun, I had been too excited over the fight- 
ing to think of anything else, but now I began to 
think of my friend, Surgeon Yasui, and to wonder 
whether he had passed through the struggle in 
safety. On the eve of the 28th, when threatening 
clouds were gathering in the sky, I was walking 
alone under the willow trees along a small stream 
below Taipo-shan, by which we had bivouacked. 
As I was thinking that he must be extremely busy 
taking care of the wounded, suddenly I heard the 
clicking sound of an officer's boots, and he stood 
beside me. 

"Dr. Yasui!" 

"Lieutenant Sakurai!" 

"Are you quite well?" 

We shook hands heartily and, after commenting 
upon each other's emaciated appearance, discussed 
the severity and horror of the recent fight. Captain 
Matsumaru, who had been wounded, also came 


along, shouldering his sword, which had been bent 
out of shape by the shot that had opened a round 
window in its blade. He too joined earnestly in our 4 
conversation about the recent battle. From Sur- 
geon Yasui we obtained a minute description of 
the sad and horrible scenes at the first aid station. 

During the battle the enemy's shot fell constantly 
in the vicinity of the native dwellings, and in our 
temporary bandaging station the danger was very 
great. One time a big shell came through the roof 
and exploded in the courtyard, and a large number 
of the wounded men in the house were blown to 
pieces, the walls and pillars were spotted with blood 
and flesh ; a shocking sight it was. On another occa- 
sion, just as the stretcher-bearers had brought in a 
wounded soldier from the battle-line with great diffi- 
culty, and put him down in the yard, an enemy's 
shot came flying and killed the poor man on the spot. 
These unfortunate fellows had fought valiantly on 
the battle-line, and had been picked up and carried 
back with wounds of honor, only to be killed in such 
a miserable way. The enemy's projectiles followed 
our brave men everywhere and killed them without 

The dreary heartrending scene at the first aid is 
utterly beyond description. One cannot help as- 
sociating it with the horrors of hell. As soon as a 
wounded man is carried back, be he officer or pri- 
vate, surgeons and hospital orderlies give him the 


necessary first aid. As the firing on the battle-line 
increases in intensity, the number of the wounded 
increases faster and faster, and the surgeons and 
others have more than they can do. While attend- 
ing one man, they notice perhaps that another man 
begins to breathe hard and lose his color. While 
giving a few drops of brandy to the second man, a 
third man may be expiring without any medical 
aid. Hardly have they had time to dress one man's 
wound properly, when ten or fifteen new ones are 
brought in. The surgeons are surrounded right and 
left by fatally wounded men. They work hard in 
their shirt sleeves, their whole attire covered with 
blood. Some men are bandaged, and others with 
broken limbs are helped by a splint. Of course all 
is done hurriedly and is only a temporary aid, but 
they are kept so busy, and the whole scene is so 
sad and urgent, that they feel as if they were losing 
their minds every moment, so much have they on 
their hands and so little can they actually do. 

But those lying in this house or that yard are all 
brave soldiers. They would not grumble even if 
medical care were slow in coming, or insufficient 
when it came. They show no discontent, they have 
no special desires. Because the heat and excitement 
of the battle-field is still with them, they want to rush 
to the first line once more, whenever they hear the 
yell of fighters or the boom of guns. The surgeons 
try hard to pacify them and keep them still. Those 


made insane by wounds in the head raise faint cries 
of "Tenno Heika Banzai" 1 or of "Rusky," and 
stagger about. If a surgeon holds them fast, they 
angrily rebuke him, saying, "You Rusky!" The 
result of these frantic movements is generally an 
abundant loss of blood, soon followed by fainting 
and death. 

On the 27th there was a specially large number 
of wounded. The farmyard in front of the first 
aid station was filled with the suffering from one 
end to the other. While a surgeon is taking care of 
one, some one behind pulls him by his trousers. On 
looking back, he finds a man leaning against him 
and like an innocent baby falling into the sleep that 
knows no awakening. "Mine is a life that cannot 
be saved, please kill me at once." So shouts a man 
in agony, clutching a surgeon with both hands. One 
sergeant crept on his hands, dragging his legs to the 
side of a surgeon. " Please, surgeon, the man over 
there is one of my company; he breathes so hard 
that it may be of no use, but please see him once 
more." This entreaty was accompanied by tears 
of sympathy. This kind sergeant was seriously in- 
jured, but his love of his subordinate made him 
brave and gallant. There were many also who 
themselves were on the brink of the grave, and yet 
who insisted on their comrades being first attended 
to, saying that they could well afford to wait. What 

1 "Ten thousand years for His Majesty the Emperor!" 


noble self-denial! The brave men, though panting 
and gasping, with livid faces and blood-covered 
bodies, kept the true spirit of Bushido, which could 
not be soiled with the dust of battle, nor did they 
lose it with their heart's blood. 

On the morning of the 2jih a private came 
to the first aid station with a distracted, hollow 
countenance. A surgeon who noticed him asked, 
"What is the matter with you? Wounded?" No 
answer came from him, his lips moved in vain. The 
surgeon asked again, " What is it ? I cannot know if 
you do not tell." Still no answer was forthcoming. 
The surgeon thought it very strange, and while 
gazing at the man's face he noticed a little blood 
on it. On closer examination it was found that this 
man had been shot through the temple from right to 
left, so that he had lost both sight and hearing. No 
sooner did the surgeon discover this than he began 
to attend to his case. But when he tenderly took 
the poor man's hand, the soldier grated his teeth 
and muttered "Revenge." His body stiffened very 
rapidly and he soon breathed his last. Poor brave 
fellow, he did not know he was dying, but was only 
anxious to fight again. 

Here is another case. A wounded private came 
rushing into the station, swinging both arms as if in 
great haste. " It is a hot fight, extremely interesting! 
We shall occupy the place very soon." The surgeon 
asked him, "Are you wounded?" "A little at the 


waist," was the answer. As the surgeon was very 
anxious about the issue of the day, he asked the 
man : " Have you killed many of the enemy? Which -4- 
side has more casualties?" The man lowered his * 
voice and said, " Once again, there are more casual- 
ties on Japan's side." 

Then the surgeon examined his "little wound" 
about the waist and was astonished at the serious- 
ness of the case. The flesh of the right hip had been 
entirely swept away by a shell. He was so proud of 
his bravery in action and faithful discharge of duty, 
that he did not know that drop by drop his very life 
was ebbing away. He talked about the battle cheer- 
fully and in high spirits. "All right! Your bandag- 
ing is finished. You may go." At this word from the 
surgeon the man stood on his legs, but could not 
walk a step. The fever of war makes it possible for 
a man to walk and even run in such a condition. But 
once brought in by the bearers his nerves relax 
and he begins to feel the pain all at once. There 
have been many instances of this, and I was one of 
the number. I did not feel any pain at all during the 
two days I was lying on the field, but oh! the pain I 
began to feel when I was taken to the first aid and 
bandaged; the agony I then felt was so great that I 
wished I had died on the field. "To come to life 
from death, " was certainly my own case, but I could 
not at all appreciate my rare good fortune at that 
time. I thought that Heaven was cruel not to have 


killed me at once, instead of leaving me to suffer 
pain harder than death itself, in a state half dead 
and half alive. 

While the fighting is yet going on the Red- Cross 
flags here and there beckon to those who are wounded 
in the field. The brave men who die on the spot 
receive no benefit from the great charity, but the 
wounded receive and monopolize its benefits, and 
sometimes feel as if they were stealing something 
from the worthy dead. As soon as a battle begins, 
the stretcher- carriers go about the field with stretch- 
ers on their shoulders, pick up the wounded at the 
front, and carry them to the first aid. These coolies 
or carriers must also be as brave and earnest 
as real combatants, else they could not do their 
work in an extremely dangerous place and moment. 
They are intrusted with the philanthropic and peril- 
ous business of braving sword and shot, searching 
out the wounded and carrying them to a safe place. 
They must share their scanty food and precious water 
with their patients, and must take every possible 
care of them and comfort and cheer them with 
loving hearts. The stretcher-bearer's hard toil and 
noble work deserve our unbounded gratitude. 

The sick and wounded who are sent back to the 
hospitals at home are clad in white and given the 
kind and faithful nursing and comforting of the sur- 
geons and women nurses. I myself am one of those 
who received their care with tears of gratitude. In a 


home hospital everything is kindness and sympathy, 
but how is it at the front ? In the summer, when I 
took part in actual engagements, large armies of flies "-r* 
attacked the wretched patients, worms would grow *H 
in the mouth or nose, and some of them could not 
drive the vermin away because their arms were use- 
less. Hospital orderlies would fain have helped 
these poor sufferers, but their number was so small 
that there was only one of them to a hundred of the 
wounded. And the patients were exposed to the 
scorching sun in the day and to the rain or dew of 
the night, without covering. Sometimes the patients, 
after lying long on the field, were in an indescrib- 
able condition, and it was necessary to soak them in a 
stream and scrub them with a broom before dressing 
their wounds. These horrors were solely due to an 
unexpectedly large number of casualties produced 
by the unforeseen severity of the fighting. Those in 
charge of the surgical work were eager to take care 
of all as quickly as possible, and send them back to 
be healed and made ready to rejoin the ranks of the 
combatants as soon as possible; but as they had to 
crowd more than a thousand patients into a field 
hospital provided for two hundred, they were power- 
less to give any better care to the sufferers. 


WHEN the forts of Taipo-shan, made almost 
impregnable by nature, were at last taken 
by the Japanese forces, the proud Russians must 
have realized that they had no despicable foe in us. 
But because they had behind them the main line of 
defense surrounding the formidable fortress, they 
did not lose their courage with two or three defeats. 
So now they fell back upon the Kanta-shan Heights 
to construct new works of defense and try a third 
stand there. Because they were hurrying with this 
defensive construction, we too had to hurry with 
our attack. One day's delay on our part would 
give them a day's advantage over us. So without 
waiting to rest our tired backs and limbs after the 
long assault, we began a sustained pursuit with the 
force of a tidal wave, with a view to driving them to 
the main fortress while their defenses were as yet 

The 2 Qth was spent in supplying the deficiency 
of ammunition, in the rearrangement of companies 
and ranks, and in a reconnaissance of the enemy's 


cavalry. The following day, the 3Oth, was assigned 
for the simultaneous march of all our forces. 

Our regiment put up a temporary bivouac in ^^ 
the valley near Hanchia-tun on the 29th. About r |_ T 
three o'clock in the morning the brigade head- 
quarters ordered our colonel to send for instruc- 
tions at once. I was detailed for this duty and, ac- 
companied by an orderly, ran one and one half ri 
along the river bank, and reached headquarters a 
little before four o'clock. Unless we ran still faster 
back to our camp, our regiment could not join the 
fight in time. So I took off all my clothing and 
handed it over to the orderly, and ran for one and 
one half ri perfectly naked, with a pistol in one hand 
and my sword in the other. It was still dark and I 
had to be very careful not to go in the wrong direc- 
tion. I ran and ran, almost breathless, along the 
river bank. On my way back I happened to hear 
the voice of Paymaster Mishima, who was directing 
the conveyance of provisions. Still running, I shouted 
to him: "Paymaster Mishima! Provisions are of no 
use. We march again at once." When I had finished 
the sentence Mishima's voice was heard far behind 
me. Fortunately I did not lose myself nor make any 
mistake and reached our bivouac at ten minutes 
before five. The assembly was sounded at once and 
the order to attack was given. The orderly to whom 
I intrusted my clothing had not yet returned. In the 
early morning of a summer day it was nice and cool 


without anything on, but I could not well march in 
that state. My last duty was done satisfactorily 
without uniform, but the next one seemed to require 
it. Another orderly was dispatched in search of the 
first one, but still the latter was not forthcoming. 
The time had come for us to start. I was in a very 
awkward plight, when at the last moment my uni- 
form bearer came, and I was saved the distinction 
of a naked fight. It is a mere joke now, but I was 
exceedingly anxious then. 

In this way the most delightful attack and advance 
was begun just as had been previously planned. 
We saw that it was to be a regular open field battle. 
That is to say, the skirmishers forming the first line 
advanced steadily, followed by the reserve body; all 
was arranged like a field manoeuvre in time of peace. 
Such a movement is almost impossible in an attack 
on a fortress, which requires a gradual increase of re- 
serves according to the circumstances of every hour 
and the condition of the ground at each point. Hith- 
erto we had been attacking only rocky, hilly places, 
so that the only thing we could do was to be as near 
the enemy as possible, in order to seize the right 
opportunity to fall upon his forces with one accord. 
In this mode of attack we could not of course keep 
to the regular formation of a drill book. However, 
when once our army went past Taipo-shan, from 
there as far as the towering Taku-shan the ground 
was an extensive rolling country; hence the possi- 


bility of our first open field battle. Our delight was 
immense. Moreover, we took full advantage of the 
lack of preparation of our opponent and made a 
sudden attack. Although the Russians offered some 
obstinate resistance, they were obliged to retire step 
by step. Our regiment held only two companies 
in reserve ; all the rest were on the line of fire, and 
gradually surrounded the enemy, engaging them on 
both wings, with the result that when their centre 
was defeated they were cut in two and forced to re- 

Before reaching our final position, I was running 
over a millet field carrying the regimental colors, 
when I came across Major Achino. His sharp eyes 
were sparkling like a hawk's, and he was standing 
on a rock leaning on his sword. He and I had been 
together at the headquarters of our regiment at 
home, and I was one of those who was most influ- 
enced by his character. His clear views on tactics, 
his spirit of indomitable courage, his frank but dig- 
nified demeanor, compelled my admiration. This 
was the man who wrote that letter of farewell to our 
colonel in the midst of our attack on Taipo-shan, 
who rushed up the northeast corner of the hill with 
two companies of his choicest men under him, and 
thus opened the way for the other divisions to at- 
tack the enemy. I had not seen this gallant war- 
rior since that time, and when I met him in the millet 
field, I felt as if I actually saw him fighting in that 


brave manner and could not repress my feeling 
of admiration and respect. I called out, "Major 
Achino!" and he gave me a glance and a word of 
encouragement, saying, "Add to the glory of your 
colors." I involuntarily bowed my head in recogni- 
tion and gratitude, but we had no time for further 
conversation. We soon lost sight of each other, I 
marching forward and thinking fondly of him. 

At this moment the enemy were gradually falling 
back before us; eventually they forsook their last 
line of resistance near Lung-tu and retreated toward 
Taku-shan. Now was the time for a prolonged pur- 
suit. It is a delightful business to pursue a flying 
enemy, when they are shot from behind and fall like 
leaves in the autumnal wind. Such an opportunity 
generally comes after a fierce hard struggle, but on 
this particular occasion we had only about thirty 
casualties during the day. Such a pleasant chase 
after such an easy battle was something we might 
never expect to have again. 

At noon of this day our army was in complete pos- 
session of the position we had had in view, and our 
line extended from the heights of T'ucheng-tsu in the 
north to the eastern heights of Taku-shan in the 
south. Standing on this newly acquired line with 
field- glass in hand, what a prospect greeted our eyes! 

Here for the first time we could see the main de- 
fense line of the impregnable fortress of Port Arthur. 
Beginning with Kikuan-shan in the south, as far 


north as the eye could reach forts and trenches were 
visible all over the country. From among them some 
horrible-looking things were thrusting up their heads HH 
like tigers and leopards ready to spring; these were _L- 
the heavy guns. Here, there, and everywhere, eight- 
to ten-fold wires were clustered together, dimly visi- 
ble through the mist ; these were wire-entanglements. 
The enemy's sentinels, or "far-looking scouts," 
could also be seen at different points. Men in groups 
of twenty or thirty were setting up wire-entangle- 
ments. This was the stage where we were to decide 
the points at issue, the stage on which the eyes of 
the world were fixed and which we actors could not 
forget even in sleep. Those who died prematurely, 
crying," Port Arthur " or " Revenge," how boundless 
their joy would have been if they had survived to see 
this heart-stirring prospect! From this day on we 
were stationed in the vicinity of Lung-tu and began 
to construct strong works along the heights of Kanta- 
shan, with a view to first storming and taking Taku- 
shan and Hsiaoku-shan in front of the enemy's right 
wing, and then with these two hills as our base of 
attack to beginning an assault on their main line of 

I must say here with great respect that the Field- 
Marshal Commander-in-chief sent us the follow- 
ing Imperial message with regard to the battle of the 
26th~3oth of July, which even his humblest servant, 
like myself, had the honor of perusing: "The in- 


vesting army having repeatedly braved the natural 
advantages of the advance positions of the fortress 
of Port Arthur, and having fought an arduous fight 
for several days, and having at last driven the enemy 
within their main line of defense, we are deeply 
gratified with your valor." 

The commander sent His Majesty the following 
reply: "Your Majesty has graciously given us a 
special message in regard to our victory in the battle 
preparatory to the attack on the fortress of Port 
Arthur, and we are deeply affected. We Your Ma- 
jesty's servants expect to exert ourselves still more 
zealously and accomplish the object of our army 
without failure. Respectfully submitted." 

H. I. M. the Empress also sent us the following 
message: "Her Majesty the Empress has heard that 
the investing army has braved the dangers of Port 
Arthur Fortress and that an arduous attack has 
been successful after some days' continuance, and 
Her Majesty is deeply struck with the loyalty and 
valor of the officers and men of the army." 

Our commander made reply also to this gracious 

Since we, then, humble subjects without any spe- 
cial merit were thus recognized and encouraged by 
Their Majesties, how could we set at ease Their 
Majesties' revered hearts? It is hard to return 
even one thousandth part of their favor; a hot fight 
of a few days is nothing for us. These Imperial 


messages simply put us to shame and caused us to 
fear lest we might fail to deserve Their Majesties' 
boundless love and indulgence. The spirits of those *""* r 
loyal and brave ones who died in battle must have 1 
shed tears of gratitude on hearing these gracious 

After the Imperial messages came all were stirred, 
and the morale of the whole army became still more 
satisfactory. Steep hills and strong forts before us, 
and the gallant enemy defending them, must all 
yield to faithful subjects who are so anxious to set 
at ease Their Majesties' troubled hearts 1 


UPON the seacoast east of the great fortress 
there is a rugged mountain towering high 
with almost perpendicular sides, its beetling rocks 
and crags spotted here and there with dwarf trees. 
The whole looks, from a distance, like an old tiger 
squatting on a hill. This is Taku-shan, or the Great 
Orphan. Hsiaoku-shan, or the Little Orphan, lies 
to the south, and on the opposite side, at the foot of 
Laolutszu. Taku-shan is a solitary peak 188 metres 
in height; its southwestern side looks down into 
the fortress of Port Arthur, and its northwestern 
side overlooked the inside of the line of investment 
formed by our left and central columns. Our works 
of investment, the movements of every division, and 
the position of our artillery were plainly visible from 
there. The side facing our army was particularly 
steep and precipitous, almost impossible to climb. It 
was as bad as Kenzan and Taipo-shan. While these 
two hills allowed the enemy to look into our posi- 
tion, they could not help becoming the mark and 
target for our fire. The commanding general of 

our division made the following remark about 

"The Great and Little Orphans may be likened 
to the meat between the ribs of a chicken, which is 
hard to get and yet we are reluctant to throw it 
away. 1 As long as these hills are left in the enemy's 
hands, we are sure to be overlooked and shot from 
them, even though after we have taken them our- 
selves we cannot help becoming a target for the 

Such a naturally protected position is extremely 
hard to take, and harder to keep, even when we have 
succeeded in taking it after untold struggles, be- 
cause it will be fired at by all the neighboring forts 
as a convenient object. Therefore, in spite of the 
unanimous conclusion of the staff that the place 
must be taken from geographic and strategic neces- 
sity, we waited for the proper opportunity without 
firing a shot, though the enemy fired at us inces- 
santly; and we hurried on our preparations for the 
close investment. 

The yth of August was finally fixed for our march 
and attack. Our field-artillery and siege-artillery, 
with shrapnels and mortars, had already taken 
their position in great secrecy. At 4 P. M. all the 
guns simultaneously opened fire, and directed it to 
the sky-line of both Orphans. 

The boom and roar rent the air and white smoke 

' A Chinese expression. 


shut out the sky, and not only the forts on both Or- 
phans, but also those on Panlung, Kikuan-shan, 
and Laoliitszu in the rear responded to our fire at 
once. As far as the eye could reach the whole coun- 
try was covered with smoke, and the tremendous 
noise of a hundred thunders at the same time went 
ceaselessly through the gloomy sky, which threatened 
rain at any moment. Whenever one of our shells 
struck a rock on Taku-shan, light yellowish- white 
sparks and fragments of rock flew far and wide 
truly it was one of the sublimest sights of war. The 
enemy's artillery was superior in strength and they 
had the great advantage of overlooking us, hence 
our artillery labored under great difficulty and disad- 
vantage and suffered damage of great magnitude. 
But the enemy's artillery seemed ignorant of the fact 
that our shrapnel guns and mortars were posted in 
the valley; they merely concentrated their fire on the 
artillery belonging to the columns, and on our in- 
fantry. Thus our big guns remained entirely free 
from damage, and toward sunset their effect on the 
enemy became more apparent, so that the Russian 
guns on Taku-shan seemed more or less silenced. 
At 4 P. M. our regiment left its place of bivouac 
and began to march, with a view to crossing the 
river Taiko and attacking the enemy as soon as 
our guns should open a proper opportunity for such 
an assault. 

Before proceeding to describe this fierce struggle, 


let me tell you what I had thought and done just 
before it. This experience was not mine only, but 
rather common to all fighters before a decisive battle, 
You will understand by this story one of the weak- 
nesses of soldiers. During the three months since 
I had first stepped on the soil of Liaotung, I, hum- 
ble and insignificant as I was, had borne the grave 
responsibility of carrying the regimental colors re- 
presenting the person of His Majesty himself, and 
had already gone through three battles on Kenzan, 
Taipo-shan, and Kanta-shan. Fortunately or un- 
fortunately, I had not had a scratch as yet, while a 
large number of brave men had fallen under the 
standard, and the standard itself had been torn by 
the enemy's shell. When the regimental flag was 
damaged, a soldier quite close by me was killed and 
yet I remained unhurt. However, the rumors of my 
death had repeatedly reached home by this time, 
and a false story of my being wounded had appeared 
in the newspapers. I had heard of all this while at 
the front. One of these rumors said that at the time 
of our landing the storm was so violent that my sam- 
pan was upset and I was swallowed by big waves, 
and that, though I swam for several cho 1 with the 
regimental flag in my mouth, I was at last buried 
in the sea by the angry billows. Another rumor re- 
ported that I had encountered the enemy soon after 
landing and was killed, together with the captain of 

1 One cho equals .07 of a mile. 


our First Company. All these mistaken reports had 
already made me a hero, and later I was frequently 
reported to have been wounded, with wonderful de- 
tails accompanying each story. But when I exam- 
ined myself I felt that I had no merit, neither the 
slightest wound upon my body. I could not help 
being ashamed of myself, and thought I was un- 
worthy the great expectations of my friends. This 
idea made me miserable. So therefore I made up 
my mind to fight desperately and sacrifice my life at 
this battle of Taku-shan. A few days before the at- 
tack began, I told my servant that I was fully deter- 
mined to die this time; that I did not know how to 
thank him for all his great goodness to me, and 
asked him to consider the assurance of my death as 
my only memento of my gratitude to him I also 
asked him to fight valiantly. My servant, his eyes 
dim with tears, said that if his lieutenant died he 
would die with him. I told him that I would prepare 
a box for my ashes, but that, if I should be so beauti- 
fully killed as to leave no bones, he was to send home 
some of my hair. Then I went on to make a box of 
fragments of planks that had been used for packing 
big shells; they were fastened together with bamboo 
nails made by my servant. A clumsy box of about 
three inches square was thus prepared, in which I 
placed a lock of my hair, as well as sheets of paper 
for wrapping up my ashes; on the lid of the box I 
wrote my name and my posthumous Buddhistic 

name as well. My coffin being thus ready, the only 
thing remaining for me to do was to exert myself 
to the very last, to repay the favor of the Emperor 
and of the country with my own life. But, after all, 
this box has not borne the distinction of carrying 
my remains. Alas ! it is now a mere laughing-stock 
for myself and my friends. 

That evening I wrote a letter to my elder brother 
in Tokyo and reported to him the recent events in 
the struggle, and told him that our attack was to 
begin on the morrow; that I was ready and deter- 
mined to die; that though my body be lost at Port 
Arthur, my spirit would not forget loyalty to the 
Emperor for seven lives. Of course this was meant 
as my eternal farewell. On the same day I received 
a letter from that brother, in which I found the fol- 
lowing passages of admonition : 

"Think not of honor or of merit only be faith- 
ful to thy duty." 

"When Nelson died a glorious death in the sea- 
fight of Trafalgar, he said, 'Thank God, I have 
done my duty.' ' 

On the eve of this great battle I received these 
words of encouragement and instruction, which 
made my heart still braver and my determination 
still firmer. 

At 5 P. M. on the yth of August, a great down- 
pour of rain mingled with the thunder of cannon, 
and the afternoon sky became utterly dark, dismal, 


and dreary. We were halted on an eminence over 
the river Taiko, waiting anxiously for the command 
"Forward!" The rain became heavier and the sky 
darker. The Russian search-light, falling on one 
side of the hills and valleys, occasionally threw a 
whitish-blue light over the scene and impeded the 
march of our infantry. The plunging fire of the 
enemy became more and more violent as time went 
on. It made a strange noise, mingled with the tre- 
mendous downpour of rain. Lieutenant Hayashi 
and myself under one overcoat would exchange 
words now and then. 

"We may separate at any moment," was Hay- 
ashi 's abrupt remark, as if he were thinking of his 

"I also am determined to die to-night," was my 
response. Whereupon Hayashi said: 

"What a long time we have been together!" 

We had no more chance to continue this conversa- 
tion, but had to separate. We had been comrades 
through the campaign, and while at home had been 
messmates for a long time. It was this Lieutenant 
Hayashi who, at the last rush upon Taipo-shan, 
achieved the first entry within the enemy's ramparts 
brandishing his sword. This hurried farewell was 
indeed our last our hand-shaking an eternal 

As was said before, our artillery fire began to take 
effect toward evening. Whereupon our detachment 


began to advance as had been previously planned. 
The rain fell more and more heavily, and the nar- 
row paths became mud-holes. We marched with 
great difficulty knee-deep in water and mud. The *| 
enemy's battery on Taku-shan was not silenced or ^^ 
weakened as we had supposed. As soon as they dis- 
covered us marching through the rain and smoke, 
they resumed their firing with fresh vigor. When 
we reached the river, the muddy water was over- 
running its banks, and we did not know how deep 
it was. The enemy, taking advantage of the heavy 
rain, had dammed the stream below, and was trying 
to impede our march by this inundation. However 
brave we might be, we could not help hesitating be- 
fore this unexpected ally of the Russians. Should 
we brave the water, we might merely drown, in- 
stead of dying by the enemy's projectiles. But be- 
hold! a forlorn hope of our engineers jumped into 
the dark flood and broke the dam; very soon the 
water subsided and the infantry could cross the 
river. Our whole force jumped into the water and 
waded. Instead of being drowned, many were 
killed in the stream by 'the enemy's fire ; their 
dead bodies were strewn so thick that they formed 
almost a bridge across the river. 

At last we reached the foot of Taku-shan, but 
we had then to break the wire- entanglements and 
run the risk of stepping on mines. One danger over, 
others were awaiting us! This was not, however, 


the time or place to hesitate; we began to clamber 
over rocks and scale precipices. Pitch darkness and 
violent rain increased our difficulties. The pouring 
rain and the crossing of the river had wet us through 
and through, yet we could not exercise our muscles 
freely to promote the circulation of blood. More- 
over, as we came nearer and nearer the Russian 
trenches, they poured shrapnel bullets upon our 
heads, or hurled stones and beams upon us, so that 
the difficulty of pushing forward was very great. 
A neighboring detachment had already approached 
the skirmish-trenches which formed a horseshoe 
half-way up on the side of the mountain. Mean- 
while our detachment was busy making firm foot- 
holds in the rocks on the mountain-side, preparing 
for an early opportunity of trying a night assault. 
But the enemy with search-light and star-shells 
worked so hard to impede progress, that the night 
surprise was given up as an impossibility. Accord- 
ingly we planned an attack at early dawn instead; 
we had now to wait, facing each other and the enemy, 
exposed to the rain, which continued to fall without 

When the eastern sky began to lighten, the rain 
was still falling. The bodies of our comrades scattered 
along the river Taiko could not be picked up, nor 
could an orderly reach the other side of the stream, 
because we were right under the enemy's eyes. In 
spite of this, orderlies were dispatched, but were shot 


down without a single exception. Such a horrible 
scene ! Such a disappointing result ! No one had any 
plan to propose, and we did not know when and how 
the object of storming the enemy could be accom- ""r* 
plished. Sergeant-Major lino, who was shot through ^ 
the abdomen and lying flat in agony at the foot of 
Taku-shan, was at this moment begging every 
orderly that passed by to kill him and relieve his 
suffering. How could we defeat the enemy and care 
for the dead and wounded? Our minds ran right 
and left, but still no desirable opportunity offered 
itself. On the top of all this, eleven ships of the Rus- 
sian fleet, including the Novic, made their appear- 
ance near Yenchang and began bombarding our 
infantry marching toward the Taku and Hsiaoku- 
shan from the rear. There was nothing to shield us ; 
we became a certain target for the enemy's fire, and 
were killed and wounded at their will. We were thus 
reduced to a state of uttermost desperation, as if a 
wolf had attacked us at the back gate while we were 
defending the front gate against a tiger. But, after 
all, how did we capture this Taiku-shan ? 


THE powder-smoke covering the whole scene 
was like surging waves, and the dark shower 
of rain may be likened to angry lions. Above us the 
steep mountain stood high, kissing the heavens 
even monkeys could hardly climb it. Each step up- 
ward presented a still steeper place one precipice 
climbed brought us to another still harder. And 
the fierce Russian eagle threatened us from the top 
of this formidable height. All our fire from every 
direction was being concentrated upon the enemy's 
position on Taku-shan. To respond to this attack, 
the Russian big guns were putting out red tongues 
at us in front, and from behind their war-ships were 
coming to shatter our backs. The enemy, with this 
natural advantage and with this strong defensive 
array, was not easy to defeat. But if we failed to 
take this place, not only would our whole army 
be checked here and be unable to assault the great 
fortress, but also we should be without any base for 
investing Port Arthur. Hence the urgent necessity 

of storming the enemy irrespective of any amount 
of sacrifice and difficulty. 

Our regiment spent that night and morning on the 
hillside, exposed to heavy rain and strong fire. But "-T 
at about 3 p. M. the right opportunity for us to ""^ 
attack the enemy offered itself. Our siege-gunners 
had so successfully bombarded the enemy's ships 
that they were obliged to retreat for a while, and 
gave us more freedom of action. When this oppor- 
tunity came, the brigadier-general gave us the fol- 
lowing order: "The left wing is now to storm Taku- 
shan, and your regiment, in connection with the 
left wing, is to attack the northern slope." 

At the same time we received the following inti- 
mation from the commander of the left wing: "Our 
regiment is now starting for an assault irrespective 
of damage I hope that your regiment also will 
join in this memorable assault and occupy Taku- 
shan with us." 

As soon as this order was made public, both wings 
started at the same time. All of us braved the anger 
and fury of the king of hell, braved the natural 
steepness and formidable fire, and attacked and 
pressed upward with strength and courage as of the 
gods. The shriek and yell of men, the boom and 
roar of guns, the gleam of bayonets and swords, the 
flying of dust, the flowing of blood, the smashing of 
brains and bowels a grand confusion and a tre- 
mendous hand-to-hand fight! The enemy rolled 


down huge stones from the top, and many an unfor- 
tunate was thrown into the deep valley or crushed 
against the rocks. Shrieks of pain and yells of anger 
made the whole scene more like hell than like this 
world. The heavy batteries of Kikuan-shan and 
Erhlung-shan were well aimed and their shells ex- 
ploded right over the top of Taku-shan, while fiery 
bundles of spherical shells and fougasse presented 
long lines of bright light crossing and intersecting 
from all directions. Presently a great shout of Ban- 
zai shook the whole mountain, rising from top and 
foot simultaneously. What ? What had happened ? 
Behold, a flag is waving in the dark clouds of smoke ! 
Is it not our dear Rising Sun? Our assault has 
succeeded ! Our standard is already unfurled on the 
top of the hill ! We saw this and we cried for joy. 

Taku-shan, enshrouded in its light gray dress of 
smoke, was now ours. But as soon as it came into 
our possession, all the fortresses of the enemy began 
concentrating their fire upon our main position on 
this mountain. Heavy-gun shells, as big as a com- 
mon water jar, 1 came whizzing like locomotives, 
causing heavy vibrations in the air. When they ex- 
ploded with a tremendous noise, a miraculous light 
glittered where the white smoke rose, and rocks 
were shattered where the dark cloud hung. It 

1 The large earthenware jar, or reservoir, used for holding the 
water supply of a Japanese kitchen. They vary in size, but the 
smallest will hold several gallons. 


seemed as if the very centre of the earth were 
shaken, and the bodies of the dead were cut into 
small fragments. Our position was far from safe. 
Our detachments occupying the new place could 
hardly keep their post. If the enemy should try a 
counter- assault, as they were sure to, how could we 
keep them in check on such a perilous mountain- top ? 
If we even stretched our necks to look across the 
slopes into the enemy's defenses, we were sure to 
be visited by their fire at once. We could not move 
a step. One soldier, who was on guard over six 
field-guns captured on the top, was hit by a whole 
shell and literally shattered to bits. One piece of 
his flesh, which flew above our heads and stuck to a 
rock behind us, was all that was left of him. Another 
shell fell into a group of soldiers, and twenty-six 
men became small dust in one minute; the rock 
that was shattered by this shell buried alive three 

Lieutenant Kunio Segawa was shot through 
the abdomen on this day; toward evening his end 
seemed near. His servant and others were nursing 
him, when his elder brother, Captain Segawa, who 
knew nothing of his wound, happened to come 
along and was asked to give his dying brother the 
farewell drink of water. Whereupon the captain 
quickly came near to his brother and shouted, 
"Kunio!" As soon as the dying man heard his 
dear brother's voice, as if he had been thinking 


of him and longing to see him, he opened his dim 
eyes in the midst of his hard breathing, gazed on 
his brother's face, grasped his hand firmly with 
tears, and for a while both were silent with emo- 
tion. The captain said presently: "Kunio, you 
have done well ! Have you anything to say ? " and he 
wiped his dying brother's face and poured water 
into his mouth from his water bottle. The younger 
brother faintly nodded and said, "Dear elder 
brother!" 1 

That was his last word, and soon he started for 
another world. What was the grief of the surviving 
brother then! The bystanders could not repress 
tears of sympathy for both. Two weeks later, in 
the battle of August 24, the captain followed his 
beloved brother and joined the ranks of those who 
were not. 

Taku-shan, the keystone to their main line of 
defense, being now wrested from their hands, the 
Russians must have been very indignant and greatly 
disappointed. As was expected, they tried counter- 
attacks over and over again with a view to retak- 
ing Taku-shan, but each time we repulsed them 
and reduced them to deeper disappointment. A 

1 The distinction between elder and younger brother is so 
great in the Japanese mind that there is no common word for 
the relationships, but ani, elder brother, and ototo, younger 
brother, are as distinct as brother and sister with us. Ani in 
address is softened to "Nil San." 


few days after the occupation of Taku-shan, one 
of the sentinels stationed at the top of the mountain 
was unexpectedly shot and killed at early dawn by * 
a Russian scout. Ready to encounter the enemy, the "T" 
Second Company ran up to the top, where they saw, "^ 
only ten or fifteen feet below them, some Russian 
officers at the head of over seventy men brandish- 
ing their swords and hurrying up the mountain. 
Without a moment's hesitation, a fierce rifle fire 
was directed at the enemy, who seemed startled 
by this unexpected reception and, turning, took to 
their heels and ran away, almost rolling and tum- 
bling in their haste. Our company took this good 
opportunity and shot them right away. What a 
splendid result! Not one of them was left alive! 
Their bodies made dark spots scattered over the 
mountain-side. At that very moment a large de- 
tachment of the enemy was stationed as a reinforce- 
ment at the point where the roads branch toward 
Hsaioku-shan and toward our position on Taku- 
shan. Their plan was probably this: an advance 
detachment was sent to both mountains, and this 
reinforcing body was to hurry to whichever hill 
should offer the better opportunity for a counter- 
attack. Such a half-hearted, uncertain policy can 
never succeed. 

However, as has been repeatedly remarked, the 
stubborn pertinacity of the Russians was something 
that surprised us. When any position is attacked, 


the loss of one part of it may necessitate the retreat 
of its defenders in another part, with the alterna- 
tives of annihilation or of being made captives : in 
such a case, the Russian soldiers will not vacate the 
spot, but stick firmly to it until they are killed. Even 
when they are reduced to one single man, that one 
man will still continue shooting; if we go near him, 
he will fix his bayonet and fight on obstinately until 
finally an idea of surrender suggests itself to his 
mind. Such things happened frequently at Kenzan, 
at Taipo-shan, and at Taku-shan. I am told that 
after the battle of Nanshan, mysterious shot came 
flying, whence no one knew, and killed or wounded 
more than ten of our men. After long search it was 
found that a Russian soldier was hiding himself 
in a kitchen and shooting us from the window 
eagerly and fearlessly. Whenever we asked Rus- 
sian captives why they resisted us so stubbornly, 
they were sure to answer: "We could not disobey 
the officer's command." We had heard of the ab- 
solute, obsequious obedience of the Russian sol- 
diers, and here on the real battle-field we found 
that it was true and that they were faithful to their 
duty unto death. This perhaps comes from the 
fact that the old relation between the nobility and 
serfs in the Middle Ages is now kept up between 
Russian officers and men. This Russian spirit of 
obedience is totally different in origin from the un- 
feigned harmony and friendliness and the sincere, 

voluntary obedience obtaining through all the ranks 
of the Japanese Army. An English officer, who 
spent several months in Manchuria with the Jap- ~ 
anese Army, remarked that the strongest charac- * 
teristic and the most attractive thing about it was "_ 
the friendly harmony prevailing from the top to 
the bottom, the like of which could not be found 
in the army of any other nation, not even in 
England or in democratic America. Perhaps the 
real strength of our army comes from this special 
moral and spiritual condition. But the obstinate 
courage of the Russian soldiers is a characteristic 
worthy of our admiration. While holding fast to 
Port Arthur, their provisions and ammunition be- 
came scarce, thousands and tens of thousands of 
lives were taken, and their sad situation was like 
a light before a gust of wind; yet, in the midst of 
such disheartening conditions, they did not change 
their attitude at all, but went on resisting us with 
dogged determination. This was done by the Rus- 
sians through the force of their Russian character- 
istics and shows plainly what was the education 
and discipline they had undergone. A passage in 
the Military Reader of Russia runs : 

"The laurel of victory in battle can be won by 
the bayonet and the war-cry. When your shot is 
exhausted, knock down the enemy with the stock 
of your rifle. If the rifle stock be broken, bite with 
your teeth." 


Yes, they were stubborn in their resistance and 
attack, but at the same time they were extremely 
careful of their lives. These two characteristics are 
contradictory to each other. "Rather live as a tile 
than be broken as a jewel," seemed their great prin- 
ciple, the contrary of the Japanese ideal, "rather 
die beautifully than live in ignominy." One Rus- 
sian captive is reported to have said: "I have a 
dear wife; she must be extremely anxious about me. 
Our officers told us that the Japanese Army was 
brittle as a clay statue. But, contrary to our expecta- 
tion, they are as strong as devils. Rather than fight 
and be killed, I must save my life for my wife. If I 
die she will grieve and go mad. I am no match for 
the Japanese. It is silly to fight on, knowing that 
we shall surely be killed by the Japanese Army." 
There is an impassable gulf between this and the 
Japanese ideal and determination to die in honor 
but never live in shame. 

We defended and held on to this Taku-shan, 
though it was extremely difficult to hold against 
the enemy's assault. Fortunately all their attempts 
at retaking it came to naught. Eventually the 
Russians seemed to give up the idea of any fur- 
ther counter-attack, and began to busy themselves 
with strengthening the already strong constructions 
on the main line of defense and with impeding 
our work of fortification by firing incessantly the 
heavy guns of the different forts. At the same time, 


our detachment was fortifying Taku-shan on the 
side toward the enemy, gathering siege material, 
constructing strong positions for heavy batteries, 
and sending out efficient scouts to ascertain the -Ap- 
positions of the enemy's mines, the condition of ^fL 
their wire-entanglements, and to see how their fire 
would affect the routes assigned for our march. 
All these preparations, and all these investigations 
about the condition of the zone of our attack being 
completed, the igth of August was fixed for the 
first general assault, and East Kikuan was given 
to our detachment as our chief objective. Because 
this battle was expected to seal the fate of Port 
Arthur, everything was most carefully and accu- 
rately planned and mapped out. 


OF course we left Japan fully determined to 
turn into dust under the hoofs of His Ma- 
jesty's steed, saying, "Here I stand ready to die." 
Our hearts were impatient, but the opportunity 
was slow in coming. More than one hundred 
days had passed since we had left for the front. 
Then hundreds of blossoms on home fields and 
mountains made our uniforms fragrant with their 
sweet smell, the spring breeze that wafted us to a 
strange land far away lightly kissed the sun-colors. 
Time flies quickly, and now we sit under the shadow 
of green leaves. At night, sleeping on our arms, or 
in the day, exposed to the hail-storm of bullets, we 
had never forgotten our desire to return the Imperial 
favor and beneficence with death, and death only. 
The time, however, was not yet full. Thousands 
of our comrades had died without the joy of seeing 
the final success; their spirits must be unconsoled 
and unable to find eternal rest. We were eager to 
avenge them, but ah! the opportunity had not yet 

come. We survivors lived in the stink of rotting 
flesh and crumbling bones; our own flesh wasted 
and even our bones seemed thinner. We were like 
a group of spirits with sharp, eager passions in 
miserable bodies, but still we were offshoots of the 
genuine cherry tree of Yamato. How was it that we 
were still alive after fighting one, two, three, already 
four battles, without having fallen like beautiful 
cherry petals of the battle-field? I had been fully 
resolved to die on Taku-shan, but still I was left 
behind by a great many of my friends. Surely this 
time, in this general assault, I must have the honor 
and distinction of offering my little self to our 
beloved country. With this idea, this desire, this 
determination, I started for the battle. 

I was promoted to first lieutenant in the early 
part of August, but the news reached me just on 
this occasion. Colonel Aoki called me before him 
and told me most gravely: "I congratulate you 
on your promotion. You have carried the regi- 
mental colors from the very beginning. You are 
now released from that duty, but strive harder still, 
for to-morrow is assigned for our general assault. 
I have eaten and slept with you for a long time 
and am grieved to part with you, but I say good- 
by to you now because I am anxious for your 

Yes, I had eaten and slept with the dear regi- 
mental commander from our first arrival and had 


fought at his side. In the bivouac, exposed to rain 
and dew, the colonel had shared his mat with me 
so that I might sleep the better. Even his scanty 
food he divided with me, smiling as cheerily as if 
he were eating with his family at home. I had 
always feared that the colonel, who was used to 
sleeping on a comfortable couch at home, might 
contract an illness from this bed and pillow of grass. 
With three thousand lives in his hand, the life of 
the regimental commander is very precious, and 
the morale of the whole regiment depends largely 
upon his health. I had tried my best to serve him 
attentively and make him as comfortable as the 
uncomfortable circumstances of the battle-field 
would allow. Some time ago, while we were at 
Changchia-tun, I prepared hot water in a water 
jar and offered him the first hot bath he had had 
since leaving Japan. He was pleased with it from 
the bottom of his heart, and I shall never forget his 
glad countenance of that moment. Now I had to 
part with the colonel who was as dear to me as 
my own father, and my grief was without limit. Of 
course I still belonged to one of his companies 
and I was still his subordinate. It was not a real 
separation, but I felt as if I were going far away 
from him. When I heard these farewell words of 
his, I felt my throat choked with tears and could 
not raise my head for a while. It was also a great 
sorrow for me to part with the regimental colors 

that I had taken care of through thick and thin. 
When I looked at the faded, torn standard now 
hanging to the left of the colonel, I could not help 
feeling that among the three thousand men whose 
hearts all stir at the sight of that flag, I had a 
right to a special emotion in the presence of the 
regimental insignia. 

After a moment of thoughtful silence, I sorrow- 
ing over my separation from the flag and the colonel, 
and the colonel apparently regretting his parting 
with me, I said earnestly: "Colonel, I will show 
you what a splendid fight I can make "I could 
not say anything more and, turning on my heel 
quietly, walked off a few steps and then ran to 
my servant and said: "I am now ordered to go to 
my company. You, in consequence, must leave me, 
but I shall never forget your kindness. Remem- 
ber me as your true elder brother to eternity. I 
cannot say anything more. Fight like a brave 

Bunkichi Takao, my servant soldier, wept bit- 
terly and said he could never leave me. That, how- 
ever, could not be. I soothed and comforted him, 
saying that he must obey his superiors' commands 
faithfully and not be behind anybody else in doing 
and suffering, and that the box we had made to- 
gether before the battle of Taku-shan was certainly 
to be used this time. I, too, was very reluctant to 
lose him, and my heart was full of emotion. 


"Lieutenant, do you really think of me as your 
younger brother?" Takao said, in tears; and I too 
shed hot tears. 

"We part now, but may meet again. If we die, 
let us die together a glorious death and talk over 
the past together in another world." So saying, I 
started to go after he had brushed the dust off my 
uniform and retied the strings of my leggings. 

"Well, then, lieutenant "he began to say, but, 
too sad to look at me any longer, he covered his 
face and turned away. 

"Takao, don't forget what I have told you from 
time to time," I said, and walked to the position 
where the Third Battalion was stationed. 

Separated from the regimental flag, from the 
colonel, and from my own servant, I directed my 
solitary steps through the wild country. As I looked 
at the hills and valleys, now turned into the graves 
of my dear comrades, and watched the clouds gather 
and disperse in the sky, I could not help thinking 
of the inconstancy of earthly things. Suddenly it 
occurred to me that I must see Surgeon Yasui once 
more, and say good-by to Captain Matsuoka, my 
senior officer from my native province. At once I 
turned back and walked some distance to a ravine at 
the northern foot of Taku-shan. Captain Matsuoka 
was sitting alone in his tent and was glad to see me. 

"I have not seen you for some time," he said. 
"Are you quite well?" 


"Thank you, I am, and I have been promoted 
to be first lieutenant. I am now ordered to join the 
Third Battalion. Please continue your favor toward 

The captain said, abruptly, "Then this is our 
last chance of meeting in this world!" 

I told him that I, too, expected to die, and ex- 
pressed my desire that we might die together on the 
top of Kikuan. When I rose to go, the captain 
tapped me on the shoulder and asked, "What have 
you there at your belt?" Whereupon I smiled 
faintly and said, "It is my coffin." "Well, indeed! 
You are well prepared!" That was our farewell, 
and I left the ravine. Soon this separation in life 
was to be followed by the separation of death. 

I then went over to the headquarters of the First 
Battalion, which were hidden behind the rocks near 
Chuchia-tun, and found Surgeon Yasui. Soon after 
my arrival there, a few of the enemy's shot fell with 
a tremendous noise in front of the tent. Four or five 
more followed, but we were so accustomed to such 
things that we paid little attention to it. This posi- 
tion, I was told, was frequently a target for the 
enemy's fire. I was grieved to hear that the com- 
mander of the First Battalion had been slightly 
wounded in the battle of Taku-shan. When I told 
Surgeon Yasui of my promotion, he took me aside 
to where the powder-boxes were piled and said that 
he had been longing to see me; that, though we 


were in the same place, we had had no chance of a 
friendly chat, and that every day and night he had 
been waiting impatiently to hear from me. I was 
deeply moved and said to him that it was strange 
that both of us had been spared so far, but that 
this time I was fully prepared for death, and that 
I had come on purpose to see him once more and 
take a last farewell. I also reminded him of our 
promise in that ruined house at Hwangni-chuan, 
and said that if both should die that would be all, 
but if he should survive me he was to cut off a part 
of my bloodstained uniform and keep it as a 
memento. We grasped each other's hands firmly, 
saying that this was our eternal farewell in this 
world, and, praying for each other's success, we 
parted in tears. Reluctantly I left his tent, crossed 
the river Taiko, climbed the mountain slope facing 
the enemy's fortress, and went to the headquarters 
of the brigade to pay my respects to the brigadier- 
general. Just at the time when I arrived at head- 
quarters the adjutant was relieved from duty on 
account of illness, so, as a temporary arrangement, 
I was put in his place as aide-de-camp. Later I 
was put in charge of the Twelfth Company. 

On the night previous to the beginning of the 
general attack of the igth, I received two letters 
brought to me by the cook. Of course no mail 
was expected to reach us in such a place and 
under such circumstances, but these two letters 


had been miscarried and mislaid for some time be- 
fore finally reaching me. They were both from my 
elder brother, one inclosing a fountain pen and 
the other a photograph of my two little nieces, one 
four and the other three years of age. They seemed 
to say " Dear Uncle" to me from the picture. Such 
sweet little faces! If, however, the little babies in 
the photograph had had eyes that could see, they 
would perhaps have cried at my changed, ema- 
ciated features. Night and day I had been seeing 
nothing but unkempt soldiers or shattered flesh 
and broken bones. Even the flowers that had 
smiled from the grassy fields were now trodden 
down and crushed. In such a battle-field, and on 
the night before a great fight, I was honored with 
the visit of these dear nieces. How it softened my 
wild heart ! What joy they brought to me ! I could 
not help kissing their dear eyes and mouths and 
murmuring to myself: "You brave little ones, that 
have left your dear mother's lap to cross the broad 
sea and wild waves to visit me in this place of 
powder-smoke and shot-rain! Your uncle will take 
you with him to-morrow and let you see how he 
chastises the enemy of dear Japan." 

The cloud of smoke had passed away for this 
night and bright stars were twinkling in the sky. 
I slept in the camp with my two little nieces by 
my side. Nelson's last words came forcibly to my 
mind, and I also repeated over and over again the 


couplet that I had written and given my father 
when leaving Japan, in which I had spoken of "the 
glory of death in battle, loyalty for seven lives." 
To leave my skull bleaching in the wilderness and 
become a patriotic spirit returning to life seven 
times was this to take place on the morrow or 
on the day after? My time was almost full! 

There was a lance-corporal by the name of Ya- 
mamoto, who about this time sent clippings of his 
nails and hair to his mother and brother, together 
with a farewell letter and poem; and this letter 
proved to be his last. It ran thus: 

"Twice already I have joined a forlorn hope, 
and still I am keeping my head on my shoulders. 
I am filled with grief when I think of my dead com- 
rades. Out of over two hundred men who ad- 
vanced before the others of our company, there are 
only twenty left who are able-bodied. Fortunately 
or unfortunately I am among this small number. 
But the life of man is only fifty years. Unless I 
give up that life betimes, I may have no proper 
opportunity again. Sooner or later I must die, as 
all must die. So I prefer being broken to pieces as 
a jewel to remaining whole as a tile. Shot or bay- 
onet or whatever may come, I can die but once. 
My comrade is shot at my right hand, my officer's 
thigh and arm are blown up into the air at my 
left and I in the middle am not hurt at all, and 


I pinch myself, doubting whether it is not a dream. 
I feel the pinching, so I must be alive still. My time 
for dying has not come yet. I must brace myself 
up to avenge my comrades. You proud, impudent 
Huskies ! I will chastise you severely. Thus my 
heart is ever impatient though I am lacking in 
brilliant parts. Born a farmer's son, I shall yet 
be sung as a flower of the cherry tree, if I fight 
bravely and die in the battle-field, instead of dying 
naturally but ignobly in a thatched hut on a straw 

" Banzai, banzai, banzai to H. M. the Com- 


" Late Lance-Corporal of the Infantry of the 

You notice that he used the word "late" before 
his title, showing beyond any doubt his resolve to 
enter the death-ground with a smile. Such a re- 
solve was held by all at that time, and Yamamoto 
only gave a clear though unsophisticated expression 
to the general sentiment. 


WHEN a correspondent of the "Novoe 
Vremya " inspected the defenses of Port 
Arthur, his remark is reported to have been: "It 
is like an eagle's nest that even a sky-scraping 
ladder cannot reach." Yes, it was even so. As 
far as the eye could reach, every hill and every 
mountain was covered with forts and ramparts; 
the landward side was encircled with iron walls of 
tenfold strength, and its defenders were brave sol- 
diers trained by the veteran General Dragomiloff, 
courageous men, the strongest and quickest, - 
the flower of the Russian Army. We were now in 
front of this "impregnable" fortress to prove that 
it was "pregnable" after all. The igth of August 
was the first day of the general attack, the starting- 
point of the historic incident of the fall of Port 
Arthur. The struggle that was to be characterized 
in the world's history of warfare as the most difficult 
and most horrible of all struggles began on this day 

and lasted for more than four months. During this 
period our desperate attack was responded to by 
as desperate a defense, and our army paid an im- 
mense price for its victory, turning the mountains 
and valleys of Port Arthur into scorched earth 
honeycombed by shells, butchering men and cap- 
turing the fortress at last with bullets of human 
flesh shot out by the Yamato-Damashii itself. The 
gazing world was astonished by the wonderful 
efficiency of such a mode of warfare! 

We, at the foot of Taku-shan, were hurrying 
on the various preparations for attack. We were 
making a special investigation of the ways and 
means of encountering the wire-entanglements, 
upon which the enemy depended as the most effi- 
cient of their secondary defensive works, and by 
the stakes and wires of which so many of our men 
had been killed in previous battles. All the hills 
in our sight, large or small, high or low, were 
wrapped about with these horrible things, that 
looked at a distance like dark dots on the ground. 

We had to break these entanglements, step on 
them, and proceed. The cutting properly belonged 
to the engineers, but their number was limited 
while that of the wire-entanglements was almost 
limitless. So the infantry had to learn to cut them 
for themselves. An imitation entanglement was 
made on the bank of the river Taiko and we were 
taught by the engineers how to break it down. 


First of all, a group of shears-men would march 
up and cut the iron wires, then the saw-men would 
follow and knock down the stakes or else saw them 
through. When a part of the entanglement was 
thus opened, a detachment of men would rush 
through the opening. 

This kind of work was of urgent necessity for 
us and we practiced it with zeal and diligence. But 
in actual fighting the work cannot be done so 
easily. The forlorn-hope engineers, who march up 
to destroy the entanglements, are always annihi- 
lated without exception, because they have to work 
before the very muzzles of the machine-guns. More- 
over, it was discovered that these wires were charged 
with electricity. There were, however, two opin- 
ions about the electric current: one was that the 
electricity was strong enough to kill whoever touched 
the wires, and the other that it was only intended 
to inform the enemy's watchtowers, by a weak cur- 
rent of electricity, of the approach of the destroyers. 
Whichever it might be, we could not cut the wires 
with ordinary scissors so long as they were charged 
with electricity, so we contrived to bind bamboo 
sticks to the handles of the shears to make them 
non-conducting. In spite of all these precautions, 
we found in actual fight that the wires were charged 
with a very strong current; some of our men were 
killed instantly by the shock, others had their limbs 
split like brushes of bamboo. We also practiced 


methods of crossing the enemy's trenches with lad- 
ders, but again in actual fight we found that their 
trenches were too wide or too deep for these ladders 
to be of much use. J 

The fortress was protected by earth-mines, which 
were buried everywhere. They had to be destroyed 
by our engineers, by cutting off the fuse. Until 
the very day of our attack we could see through 
field-glasses groups of Russians at work here and 
there, burying these explosives in the ground with 
picks. We marked those places on our maps. We 
found out and remembered everything that we 
could; for instance, that each of the stakes of the 
entanglements was beaten down with twelve blows 
of a hammer, or how many earth-mines were being 
buried in any particular valley. Our reconnoitring 
parties found that every ravine up which our in- 
fantry was likely to march was set with mines, and 
that the methods of disposing them were very clever. 
To cite one example, where the ravine was narrow- 
est there was buried a mine that would explode 
when stepped on. When the first man was killed 
in this way, the rest would of course divide them- 
selves on either side of the ravine, where a series 
of mines would burst and kill all of the attacking 
party. It was extremely hard to go through these 
places in safety. On the top of all this, all the guns 
and rifles of all the forts and skirmish-trenches 
were so directed as to be able to aim at every ravine 


and every rock, so that none of us could escape the 
concentrated cross-fire from three directions. Their 
defense left almost nothing to be desired. 

At dawn on the igth of August, the whole line 
of our artillery opened fire simultaneously, with 
East Kikuan as our chief objective, but bombard- 
ing other forts at the same time. This was the 
first step in our general assault. Soon, our assault- 
ing columns pushed on their way under cover of 
the artillery fire, approaching the enemy inch by 
inch, ready to rush upon them with one accord as 
soon as our fire began to take effect upon the Rus- 
sians. Therefore our batteries devoted their whole 
energy to breaking the forts, shattering the bomb- 
proofs, and opening breaches in the skirmish- 
trenches through which our storming parties could 

No sooner had our firing begun than the enemy 
responded from all their batteries and tried hard 
to silence our artillery and impede the progress of 
our infantry. What a terrible scene presented it- 
self when huge shells were exchanged between the 
heavy guns of both sides! Explosive shells as big 
as sake-casks l and spherical shells caused great 
vibrations in the air, and their groaning reverbera- 
tion set at naught the fury of pealing thunders. 
The bursting of shells scattered lightning every- 
where, and the smoke covered the scene with thick 

1 The sake-cask, contains about sixteen gallons. 

steamy clouds, in which it seemed impossible for 
any living thing to breathe. We nicknamed the 
enemy's shells "train shells," because they came 
moaning and shrieking just like a train leaving the 
station with sharp whistling. When we heard such 
a sound near us the whole earth shook, and in the 
tremendous roaring men, horses, rocks, and sand 
were all hurled up together. Everything that came 
into collision with these terrible trains was reduced 
to small fragments; these fragments would fall to 
the ground and then go up again, as if they had 
wings to fly with. One lieutenant's neck was torn 
by a fragment of shell, and his head hung by the 
skin only. Both arms of a private were cut off clean 
from the shoulders by the same process. 

This day was to come to an end with bombard- 
ment only. It had been our plan to employ the first 
day or two in bombarding the enemy and then 
to go on with an infantry attack. That evening I 
went on business to the headquarters of our divi- 
sion, that is, the place where our artillery was 
posted. It was a dark night, and through the sky 
whitish-blue bars of fire were flying to and fro be- 
tween the contending parties; it looked to me like 
the highway leading to hell. The Russian search- 
lights were being thrown over the position of our 
artillery f rom Kikuan-shan and Hokuginzan. These 
terrible lights would turn every now and then to- 
ward our infantry, who were approaching the 


enemy step by step. We, too, used the search-lights 
captured from the enemy and tried to counteract 
the power of theirs and also to expose the Russian 
battery to view, but they were far inferior to those 
still in the enemy's possession. Star-shells were 
shot off from time to time by the enemy, which 
illuminated the sky far better than the annual dis- 
play of fireworks at Ryogoku. 1 They were like 
great electric lamps hanging in the air, making the 
whole place as light as day, so that even the move- 
ment of an ant could easily be detected. They 
were powerful in thwarting the progress of our as- 
saulting column, because every movement of the 
detachment was exposed by this light and could 
be accurately seen by the enemy, and the usual 
machine-guns were sure to pour a rain of horrible 
shot upon the invaders. Therefore, as soon as we 
saw the star-rocket burst in the sky, we used to cau- 
tion each other, saying, " Don't move! don't move!" 
When I reached headquarters, the division- 
commander and his staff were standing at our 
artillery position and watching this scene of night 
fighting without the cover of darkness. As soon as 
a search-light was seen in a Russian fort, our chief- 
of-staff would order, " Hit that ! Smash that fellow ! " 
He said, folding his arms in utter unconcern: "I 

1 The annual festival of the " Opening of the River," held at 
Ryogoku Bashi in Tokyo, is the occasion for a great display of 


feel like a young bride! Exposed to such a full 
glare of light, I am awfully shy and bashful!" 

Our detachment marched as far as Yangchia- 
kou during this night. Soon after we reached there, JL. 
a shell came near us with a tremendous noise. We MJ 
said to each other: "Some must have been killed. LI J 
Who are they? Who?" When the smoke cleared, 
we found four or five men lying dead or wounded, 
two of them recruits who had arrived only a few 
days before from home. One of the two was killed 
in a horrible manner; the half of his body below 
the waist was entirely gone. The legs of the other 
were shattered and the blood was gushing out like 
water. His captain went to him and encouraged 
him, saying: "Don't be afraid! Be brave!" 

"Captain, I am very sorry to be thus disabled 
without having fought at all. I will come back 
healed as quickly as possible. Please let me be in 
your company again." 

"Even without having fought, your wounds are 
honorable. Get well quickly and come back!" 

Why one is shot on the battle-field and the other 
not seems an inscrutable mystery. Some there are 
who in one severe fight after another do not sustain 
a single scratch; others seem to be followed by 
shot or to draw shot to themselves. Some are killed 
very soon after landing and before knowing how 
it feels to be shot at. When once you become a 
target for shot, forty or fifty may come to you, as 


to that man in the battle of Taipo-shan of whom 
j have already spoken. Is this what is called fate, 
Lmf or is it mere chance ? On the iQth, when the head- 
quarters of the division were removed to the northern 
slope of Taku-shan, the division- commander was 
observing the enemy, with a staff-officer on either 
side, when a projectile came and both the staff- 
officers were killed on the spot, while the general 
in the middle was not even slightly hurt. In an 
assault on a fortress those in front have of course the 
highest probability of being hit, but even those in 
the rear sustain more injury than in a field battle. 
Napoleon said: "A shot may be aimed at you, 
but cannot pursue you. If it could pursue you 
at all, it would overtake you even if you fled to the 
uttermost parts of the earth." Yes, a shot is an 
uncanny thing, like an apparition. With our hu- 
man power we cannot tell whether it will hit us or 
not. It depends entirely upon one's luck. There 
is another incident that I recollect in this connec- 
tion. After the battle of Taipo-shan, five or six of 
the retreating Russians were walking off in a lei- 
surely way, without hurrying, and swinging their 
arms. This behavior we thought very impudent, 
and each of us aimed at them as carefully as in 
drill-ground practice and fired at them with our 
rifles resting on something steady, but all in vain. 
One officer was sure he could hit them, but he too 
failed, and the Russians continued to walk off 


slowly and were eventually lost sight of. Several 
times after this, we tried our skill in musketry on a 
Russian standing on a fort and waving his hand- 
kerchief to challenge us, or on some audacious 
fellow who would dare to come out of the breast- 
work and insult us. In spite of our skill, indigna- 
tion, and curiosity combined, these impudent fel- 
lows often escaped in safety. Such being the case, 
those who have been through several battles become 
naturally careless and fearless. At first we invol- 
untarily lower our heads a little at the sound of a 
small bullet. Even the officer who scolds his men, 
saying, "Who is it that salutes the enemy's shot?" 
cannot help nodding to the enemy at first. Of 
course this does not imply timidity at all; it seems 
to be the result of some sort of reflex action of the 
nerves. But when the shot begin to come like a 
shower of rain, we can no longer give each shot a 
bow, but become bold at once. The boom and 
roar of big shells excite in us no special sensation. 
When we know that by the time we hear these 
horrible sounds the projectiles have gone far past 
us, our courage is confirmed and, instead of bow- 
ing to an empty sound, we begin to think of stand- 
ing on the breastwork and munching rice-balls to 
show off to the enemy ! And the shot seems to shun 
those audacious ones as a rule, to go round them 
and call upon others! 


THE bodies of the brave dead built hill upon 
hill, their blood made streams in the valleys. 
The battle-field was turned into a cemetery and 
hill and valley into burnt-out soil. As minutes and 
seconds went on, life after life was sent off into eter- 
nity. When the attacking party combines accu- 
rate firearms with ammunition powerful enough 
to demoralize the enemy, what is the power with 
which to follow up this advantage to its sure result, 
that is, final victory ? That power is the bayonet 
and the war-cry together! The glittering bayonet, 
the hideous yelling, when combined, are what really 
put the enemy to flight. A correspondent of the 
London "Standard" has said truly: "The war-cry 
of the Japanese Army pierced the hearts of the 
Russians." But, however much our glittering bay- 
onets and shouting voices intimidated the enemy, 
I cannot help weeping at the recollection of that 
assault. Why? Because the glittering of the bay- 
onet and the yelling of the war-cry became fainter 

and fainter in the first general assault! In spite of 
the great number of projectiles and the large quan- 
tity of human bullets that were spent, the storming ~~ 
of the forts which the Russians called invincible * 
ended in utter failure. Nay, several great assaults 
after this one drained the blood of patriotic war- 
riors and shattered their bones in vain. After all, 
however, this apparently useless sacrifice of a large 
number of lives was not without its effect. Strate- 
gically we needed to reduce the great fortress as 
quickly as possible, however great the damage to 
our army might be ; so, therefore, the commanding 
general resolved with tears to offer the necessary 
sacrifice, and his subordinates willingly offered 
their lives and stormed the enemy with bullets of 
their own flesh. And these first fruitless assaults 
proved the necessary first step and a valuable pre- 
paration for our final success. 

We noticed that our continuous bombardment 
of the Russian forts since the iQth, more espe- 
cially of those on East Kikuan, which was our ob- 
jective, had dealt a severe blow on the enemy; so 
the Yoshinaga battalion was ordered to march 
on the night of the 2ist as the first assaulting 
column. A forlorn hope of engineers were dis- 
patched ahead to break the wire-entanglements. 
Their desperate effort was fortunately successful, 
and a little opening was made for the infantry. 
Thereupon Captain Yoshinaga ordered his men 


not to fire a shot, not to utter a whisper, but to 
press on under cover of the night; and a body of 
dark shadows suddenly stood right against the 
enemy's ramparts. The surprised Russians were 
obliged to retreat without offering a fight; but as 
soon as they had fallen back a little distance, 
a large detachment of reinforcements appeared, 
accompanied by the horrible sound of machine- 
guns in the rear. They forced the retreating Rus- 
sians forward, and together they offered a strong 
counter-attack, with their shout of "Woola" shak- 
ing heaven and earth. Major Yoshinaga ordered 
his men not to retreat a step, and a terrible hand- 
to-hand fight ensued. Both parties fought fiercely 
with fists, bayonets, and rifles, but alas! Major 
Yoshinaga, who was commanding his men from 
the breastwork, was shot through the chest and 
fell. Captain Okubo took up the command in 
his place; soon he too was killed. Substitute after 
substitute was killed, and eventually not only the 
officers but also the men were, nearly all of them, 
killed. No reinforcement came to their aid, the 
enemy's concentrated fire became more and more 
violent, and the few surviving men were obliged 
to retreat for a while into the ravine below the wire- 
entanglements and wait there for the arrival of re- 
serves. None came to help them, and they waited 
vainly until the dusk of the following day, with the 
remains of their dead comrades before their eyes. 

They were right below the enemy, only a dozen 
feet or so away from them, and for thirteen hours 
they had to grasp their rifles hard and stare at the 
Russians, unable to do anything. -4 

On the night of the 22 d the Taketomi bat- 
talion went through the broken wire-entanglements 
and tried by a fierce attack to make good our 
failure of the previous night. Captain Matsuoka 
was first wounded; his thigh was cut away and he 
could stand no longer. First Lieutenant Miyake 
was shot through the lungs. The scene went from 
bad to worse. The Russians behaved as if trying 
to show that they had been waiting for our coming, 
proud of their success of the night before. Their 
search-lights went round so fast as to dazzle our as- 
saulting detachment; their star-lights burned over 
our heads and made us an easy target for their 
shooting. "Charge! Forward! Woo-waa!" Thus 
crying, Captain Yanagawa rushed in most gallantly, 
in the light of the star-rockets. Half of his face was 
seen dyed with blood and he was flourishing a 
glittering sword in his right hand. Again he cried, 
"Charge!" but that was the last we heard of his 
brave voice. White blades flashed in the dark, 
like reeds in the wind, but that flash gradually 
ceased, the loud yell of a few moments before 
stopped. We heard only the shouting of the enemy 
behind their ramparts. They came up and danced 
for joy on the breastwork, while we had been killed 


to create a hill of corpses and a stream of blood! 
What grief! What sorrow! 

Captain Matsuoka, who was seriously wounded 
as I have said, soon lost so much blood from his 
wounded thigh, that his breathing became fainter 
and fainter, and he knew that his end was fast 
approaching. He pulled out of his pocket the secret 
maps and destroyed them, and died entangled in 
the enemy's wire. All who went to fetch him were 
also killed and went to their eternal sleep side by 
side with the brave captain. This captain's glorious 
death was later reported to the Emperor through 
His Majesty's military chamberlain. That Cap- 
tain Yanagawa who rushed toward the enemy 
shouting and yelling, in spite of several wounds, 
was shot down just at the moment of leaping over 
the Russian rampart. He leaned against the breast- 
work of the rampart to die peacefully there after 
he had done his very best, but the cruel enemy 
would not allow that. They cut him into pieces 
and subjected him to wanton cruelties. 

Nevertheless, we were determined to deal a heavy 
blow on some vital part of the enemy, however 
often and however badly we might be repulsed or 
routed. We were ready to sacrifice not only a bri- 
gade but even a whole division for this impor- 
tant object. Accordingly another great assault was 
planned for 3 A. M. of the 24th. For several 
days our company had been bivouacking in the 


ravine of Yangchia-kou, but now on the night 
of the 23d we were to leave this place and 
proceed to the rendezvous of Wuchia-fang. So 
our captain gathered together his lieutenants and 
said : 

"Farewell! I have no other words to say to you! 
I have decided to leave my body on to-morrow's 
battle-field. Please take this water cup of long 

Before these words from our captain we, too, had 
made up our minds to die this time. We exchanged 
the farewell cup of water from our water bottle, 
saying : 

" This evening our water tastes like golden nec- 

Our company quietly left its place of bivouac 
and fell in under dark willows on the river bank. 
Thinking that it was the last time we should be 
together, we could not force back the tears. Soon 
we began our march and passed on under the dark 
avenue of trees, where we met a long string of 
stretchers carrying the wounded who had fallen 
during the last few days such a long, almost 
endless train of stretchers! 

"Where are you injured?" I asked one of them 
as I passed. The wounded man answered, "My 
legs broken." "Well done! Go quietly." 

Our detachment reached the river at the other 
side of a mountain that looks like the back of an 


elephant. It was so dark that we could not see 
anything at all. We groped our way toward Wu- 
chia-fang, when in front of us we heard a sound of 
human voices. I threw myself on the ground and, 
looking up, saw through the dark that a long line 
of our wounded were laid down on the river beach. 
We marched on, sick at heart, over such a tremen- 
dous number of the wounded, it took us some time 
to reach the end of this long line. Their groaning, 
hard breathing, suffering, pain, their exposure to the 
night dew without anything to cover them up, was 
pitiful. We could not help being deeply affected 
by this scene of misery. 

In the meantime we were losing our way, we 
could not find Wuchia-fang, but suddenly came 
into the headquarters of the Ninth Division. Gen- 
eral Oshima, the commander, was seen clad in his 
dark winter uniform in spite of the season, a silk 
crepe obi tied tightly about his waist, from which 
a long Japanese sword was hanging. At the sight of 
the gallant general we felt as if we were in a region 
of romance. When his division occupied Panlung, 
General Oshima is reported to have stood at the 
head of his army in this dark uniform, making him- 
self the only dark target for the enemy's shot, thus 
trying to inspire his men with courage and confi- 
dence. I asked the way of a staff-officer, and our 
company turned back in the proper direction. We 
could not, however, find the right place; we asked 


again, and were told to go to the right; when we 
went to the right, we were told to go back to where 
we started; we were utterly at a loss where to go. JZZL 
The time for our rendezvous was fixed at one o'clock 4 
it was now only a little before that time. If we 
should fail to appear on the spot in time, it would 
disgrace us, and we had to think not only of our 
personal disgrace, but that the prospective attack 
needed as many fighters as possible. The delay in 
our arrival might become a cause of defeat. The 
captain and all of us were extremely anxious and 
worried. Fortunately, however, at this juncture 
we came across a man belonging to the engineer- 
corps, who minutely explained to us how to find 
Wuchia-fang, telling us to go through the open- 
ing a little further on, where our engineers were 
then engaged in sapping. We went on as in- 
structed and soon found our siege-trenches; we 
went along these until we came to an opening, be- 
yond which we had to go through the fields exposed 
to the enemy's view. We ran on, but presently a 
flash of search-light came! "Lie down!" was or- 
dered, and we waited, holding our breath for that 
terrible light to disappear. But the search-light 
would not disappear. Meanwhile communication 
with our rear was cut off. At last we came to 
the place which we imagined to be the rendezvous. 
We found none of our army there, but dark corpses 
were strewn on the ground. Probably our army 


had already gathered themselves at the foot of the 
East Panlung Fort, which was supposed to be the 
centre of our attack. Looking at our watches, we 
found that it was a few minutes past one o'clock. 
We tried hard to find our main body, but in vain. 
Were we too late ? The anxiety of our captain was 
intense. Our disappointment was agonizing. Were 
we to miss our opportunity to join in the general 
assault ? The captain said, " I cannot expiate my 
fault even with suicide ! " Not only he, but all of us, 
felt that if we failed to join this battle, the company 
itself would be disgraced forever; and that com- 
pared with that disgrace our unanimous suicide was 
a mere trifle. 

Scouts were sent in all directions, but none 
brought back any news. We had no time to lose, 
so we came to the conclusion that the best thing 
we could do now was to go to the old fort of East 
Panlung and fight even single-handed, and that, 
if the main body had begun by that time, we should 
be in a good spot to join its action. Thinking that 
the occasional sound of a machine-gun that we 
had heard must be coming from Panlung, and that 
a ravine we had found must lead to that mountain, 
we started from Wuchia-fang along the ravine. 

Ah, that ravine ! a narrow path of less than two 
ken in width. It was the place where the Ninth 
Division and the Seventh and Ninth Regiments of 
the Second Reserve had had such a hard fight the 


day before. What a scene of horrors ! No stretcher 
nor medicine chest could be brought there. The 
dead and wounded were piled one upon another ^ 
in nooks and corners, some groaning with pain, + 
some crying for help, and some perfectly quiet, *T"* 
breathing no longer. We hardly found space to **" 
walk without stepping on them. It was an infer- 
nal tunnel of the dead and dying. We groped to 
the right not to step on a dead comrade, only to 
kick a wounded one on the left. Where we stepped, 
thinking that it was on mother earth, we found 
ourselves walking over the khaki-colored dead. 
"Don't step on the corpses!" I shouted to my men; 
but at that very moment I was treading on the chest 
of one. "Pardon," was the only apology I could 
offer the dead thus unintentionally insulted. Along 
this long, narrow path full of corpses, it was im- 
possible not to step on our poor, silent comrades. 

We were almost at the end of the ravine a few 
steps more would have brought us face to face with 
wire-entanglements when we stopped short for a 
while. All at once the enemy's machine-guns be- 
gan at our left, shooting out flames of fire through 
the dark. Presently we heard the noise of a gun 
detachment; six of our guns were trying to climb 
Panlung through the same ravine. In this narrow 
pass the infantry and artillery men were jumbled 
together to escape the fire of the Russian machine- 


We were now at the foot of the objective moun- 
tain, but no trace of the main body could be found. 
What a disappointment and pain for us! Where 
was it ? Was the expected assault postponed ? After 
a great deal of cogitation the captain decided to 
go back to Wuchia-fang and wait for further orders. 
This was his deliberately formed conclusion, and 
of course we had to obey him, though very reluct- 
antly. Once again we must go through that in- 
fernal tunnel. Those corpses of the dead comrades 
on which we had stepped and to which we had 
apologized in horror had to be trodden on once 
more. We looked for the dead and wounded in the 
dark and found their condition still worse and more 
miserable than before, because the artillery- men 
had been through the same place after us, and 
many dead and dying had been run over by the 
gun carriages. Those who had been breathing 
faintly had breathed their last under the iron wheels; 
those who had already died were cut to pieces. 
Shattered bones, torn flesh, flowing blood, were 
mingled with broken swords and split rifles. What 
could be more shocking than this scene! 

We went back to the entrance of the ravine and 
waited there for a while ; at last group after group 
of shadows began to come through the dark. It 
was our main body ! Our joy was unbounded. We 
learned that they had not been able to reach the 
place of rendezvous at the appointed hour, on ac- 


count of the constant hindrance to their march of- 
fered by the enemy's search-lights. We breathed a 
sigh of relief in thus joining the main body at last, < 
and rejoiced over the prospect of forming with *- 
them the advance guard of the first general assault. "JT* 
This place of gathering did not shield us from the **" 
enemy's fire, nor was it large enough to accommo- 
date a great number of men; it was only protected 
by a precipice that would prevent the enemy from 
looking down upon us. Among the officers who 
were with us here was Major Matsumura, who dis- 
tinguished himself at Taku-shan after its capture 
by our army by resisting and repulsing the enemy's 
counter-attack. He had sprained his right foot at 
that time, but would not consent to receive medical 
treatment for such a trifling injury as he called it, 
and was still doing the duty of a battalion com- 
mander. This night he was still suffering from his 
foot; but supporting himself with a willow stick, 
he walked on at the head of his battalion. Sitting 
down beside me, he said, "The time it has come 
at last!" 

Captain Segawa, who bade that sad farewell to 
his younger brother at Taku-shan, was also there. 
Lieutenant Sone came along with a cartridge belt 
round his waist and a rifle in his hand. I asked him 
why he was so strangely armed. Upon which he 
said that he had lost his sword during the scouting 
of the previous night and had therefore armed him- 


self like a private soldier. All the officers gathered 
together wished each other success and chatted 
cheerfully for a while. Only a few hours later, all 
of them had been killed except Major Matsumura 
and myself! Whenever I think of it, I still feel as 
if I saw their faces and heard their voices. Brave 
fellows! Poor men! My heart is full of strange 
emotions when I think of them. 



WE all fell in under the precipice and were 
waiting for the order of march, when a 
piece of paper reached me handed from man to 
man. I opened it and read: 

"Yasukichi Honda was shot on the ipth, and 
when I offered him a drink of water he shed tears 
and asked me to give his compliments to Lieuten- 
ant Sakurai.. 

(Signed) " BUNKICHI TAKEO." 

This Honda had been my servant about a year 
before, and he was a faithful fellow. His last words 
were a farewell to me who had done so little for him. 
I was deeply affected by his loyal devotion. Even 
now I regret I had no chance of giving him a fare- 
well hand-shake, and cannot help thinking how 
greatly he would have rejoiced if I could have given 
him one word of good- by while he was yet alive. 

I gathered my men around me and said: "I now 
bid you all farewell. Fight with all your might. This 


battle will decide whether Port Arthur is to fall or 
not. This water you drink, please drink as if at your 
death moment." 

I filled a cup with water that was fetched by one 
or two soldiers at the risk of their lives, and we all 
drank farewell from the same cup. Soon we re- 
ceived orders to advance to a point half-way up 
the side of Panlung. We began to move on quietly; 
we who had already drunk together the death-cup 
went again through that same terrible ravine full 
of our dead comrades. This was the third time 
that we had traveled by this path, and none ex- 
pected to walk over it a fourth time alive. To die 
under the flying Flag of the Rising Sun, and to die 
while doing splendid service to one's country, was 
the wish and resolve of every heart. Before be- 
ginning this final march to the battle-field, we all 
made ourselves as light as possible; we carried 
with us just enough hard biscuit, "iron rations," 
to support life for two or three days; the rest we 
left behind. My khaki uniform was decorated by a 
national flag hanging from my belt, a Japanese 
towel was tied around my neck. I wore no shoes, 
only tabi l on my feet, and my whole appearance 
was like that of a dancer at a summer festival in 
Tokyo. I carried with me my sword, my water 
bottle, and three hard biscuit. Thus armed and 

1 Tabi, the Japanese sock, made with a separate place for 
the great toe. 

attired I was to appear on the glorious stage of 

The mere thought of this ravine makes one 
shudder even now. We jumped over or stepped 
on the heaped- up corpses and went on holding our 
noses. What a grief it was to have to tread on the 
bodies of our heroic dead! I found one wounded 
man squatting in a comer groaning with pain. I 
asked him where he was wounded. He told me 
that his legs were broken, and for three days he had 
had no single grain of rice, nor a single drop of 
water; no stretcher had appeared, and he had been 
waiting for the arrival of death ever since he fought 
and fell. I gave him the three biscuit I had, and 
told him to eat those and wait patiently for the 
coming of our bearer company. He clasped his 
hands together and shed tears for joy and grati- 
tude and begged me to tell him my name. I was 
deeply touched by this experience. "Farewell" 
was the only thing I could say to the poor fellow 
as I passed on. We now came to the wire-entangle- 
ment of PanluQg-shan. 

This fortress of Panlung had been captured with 
the flesh and blood of the Ninth Division and the 
Seventh and Eighth Regiments of the Second Re- 
serve, and was now an important base from which a 
general assault on the northern forts of East Kikuan 
and Wantai was to be made. This critical spot was 
finally taken after a terrible struggle and a valiant 


action by the men of General Oshima's command. 
The sad story was eloquently told by the horrible 
sights of the ravine. While running through the 
opening in the wire-entanglement beyond, I noticed 
many engineers and infantry-men dead, piled one 
upon another, caught in the wire, or taking hold 
with both arms of a post, or grasping the iron shears. 

When we reached the middle of the side of Pan- 
lung, I saw the regimental flag that I used to carry, 
flying above our heads in the dark. My heart leaped 
at the sight of the dear flag. I scrambled up to 
where it was planted and came face to face with 
Colonel Aoki, with whom I had exchanged fare- 
well salutations at the foot of Taku-shan some days 

"Colonel, I am Lieutenant Sakurai!" 

He looked at me as if thinking fondly of bygone 
days, and said: 

"Are you Sakurai ? I do pray for your success." 

After this word from my commander, how could 
I be satisfied without doing something? I must 
exert myself to the uttermost. 

Then I heard a voice calling my name from 
the top of the mountain, so I bade farewell to the 
colonel and went on to the top to find Lieutenant 
Yoshida, a friend of mine from the same province, 
sitting there alone. I had heard of his being in the 
Ninth Division, fighting before Port Arthur, but I 
did not expect ever to meet him. To see an old 


friend just before going into a fierce engagement 
was touching. 

"Sakurai, is n't it fearful, the fighting of the last ^^ 
few days?" "-* 

Wondering why he was there, I asked: "What -i 
are you doing here alone?" 

"Please look at these corpses!" 

There were dark shadows about him which I 
had thought were the recruits of our regiment. I 
could not help being astonished when I found that 
those heaps of khaki-colored men were the dead 
or wounded soldiers of Lieutenant Yoshida's com- 
mand. What a horrible sight! Their bodies were 
piled up two or three or even four deep; some had 
died with their hands on the enemy's battery, some 
had successfully gone beyond the battery and were 
killed grasping the gun-carriages. A sad groaning 
came from the wounded who were buried under 
the dead. When this gallant assaulting column had 
pressed upon the enemy's forts, stepping over their 
comrades' bodies, the terrible and skillful fire of 
the machine-guns had killed them all, close by the 
forts, piling the dead upon the wounded. The men 
behind, angry at their comrades' death, attempted 
a summary revenge, but they rushed upon the 
enemy only to swell the number of the dead, and 
Lieutenant Yoshida felt that he could not leave 
his unfortunate men, and was watching over their 
remains with a breaking heart. Later, on the 


2yth of October, he fought most desperately at 
Erhlung and died. This interview at the top of 
Panlung was our last good- by. 

As soon as we were gathered together the colonel 
rose and gave us a final word of exhortation, say- 
ing: "This battle is our great chance of serving 
our country. To-night we must strike at the vitals 
of Port Arthur. Our brave assaulting column must 
be not simply a forlorn-hope ('resolved-to-die'), 
but a 'sure-death' detachment. I as your father 
am more grateful than I can express for your gal- 
lant fighting. Do your best, all of you." 

Yes, we were all ready for death when leaving 
Japan. Men going to battle of course cannot ex- 
pect to come back alive. But in this particular 
battle to be ready for death was not enough; what 
was required of us was a determination not to fail 
to die. Indeed, we were "sure-death" men, and 
this new appellation gave us a great stimulus. Also 
a telegram that had come from the Minister of 
War in Tokyo, was read by the aide-de-camp, 
which said, "I pray for your success." This in- 
creased the exaltation of our spirits. 

Let me now recount the sublimity and horror of 
this general assault. I was a mere lieutenant and 
everything passed through my mind as in a dream, 
so my story must be something like picking out 
things from the dark. I can't give you any sys- 
tematic account, but must limit myself to fragment- 


ary recollections. If this story sounds like a vain- 
glorious account of my own achievements, it is not 
because I am conscious of my merit when I have 
so little to boast of, but because the things concern- 
ing me and near me are what I can tell you with 
authority. If this partial account prove a clue from 
which the whole story of this terrible assault may 
be inferred, my work will not have been in vain. 

The men of the "sure-death" detachment rose 
to their part. Fearlessly they stepped forward to 
the place of death. They went over Panlung-shan 
and made their way through the piled-up bodies 
of the dead, groups of five or six soldiers reaching 
the barricaded slope one after another. 

I said to the colonel, "Good-by, then!" 

With this farewell I started, and my first step 
was on the head of a corpse. Our objective points 
were the Northern Fortress and Wang-tai Hill. 

There was a fight with bombs at the enemy's 
skirmish-trenches. The bombs sent from our side 
exploded finely, and the place became at once a 
conflagration, boards were flung about, sand bags 
burst, heads flew around, legs were torn off. The 
flames mingled with the smoke, lighted up our 
faces weirdly, with a red glare, and all at once the 
battle-line became confused. Then the enemy, 
thinking it hopeless, left the place and began to 
flee. "Forward! forward! Now is the time to go 
forward! Forward! Pursue! Capture it with one 


bound! " and, proud of our victory, we went forward 

Captain Kawakami, raising his sword, cried, 
"Forward!" and then I, standing close by him, 
cried, "Sakurai's company, forward!" 

Thus shouting I left the captain's side, and, in 
order to see the road we were to follow, went be- 
hind the rampart. What is that black object which 
obstructs our view ? It is the ramparts of the North- 
ern Fortress. Looking back, I did not see a soldier. 
Alack, had the line been cut ? In trepidation, keep- 
ing my body to the left for safety, I called the 
Twelfth Company. 

"Lieutenant Sakurai!" a voice called out re- 
peatedly in answer. Returning in the direction of 
the sound, I found Corporal Ito weeping loudly. 

" What are you crying for ? What has happened ? " 

The corporal, weeping bitterly, gripped my arm 

"Lieutenant Sakurai, you have become an im- 
portant person." 

"What is there to weep about? I say, what is 
the matter?" 

He whispered in my ear, "Our captain is dead." 

Hearing this, I too wept. Was it not only a mo- 
ment ago that he had given the order " Forward " ? 
Was it not even now that I had separated from 
him? And yet our captain was one of the dead. 
In one moment our tender, pitying Captain Kawa- 


kami and I had become beings of two separate 
worlds. Was it a dream or a reality, I wondered ? 

Corporal Ito pointed out the captain's body, 
which had fallen inside the rampart only a few rods * 
away. I hastened thither and raised him in my A 

"Captain!" I could not say a word more. 

But as matters could not remain thus, I took the 
secret map which the captain had, and, rising up 
boldly, called out, "From henceforward I com- 
mand the Twelfth Company." And I ordered that 
some one of the wounded should carry back the 
captain's corpse. A wounded soldier was just about 
to raise it up when he was struck on a vital spot 
and died leaning on the captain. One after another 
of the soldiers who took his place was struck and 

I called Sub-Lieutenant Ninomiya and asked 
him if the sections were together. 

He answered in the affirmative. I ordered Cor- 
poral Ito not to let the line be cut, and told him 
that I would be in the centre of the skirmishers. 
In the darkness of the night we could not distin- 
guish the features of the country, nor in which 
direction we were to march. Standing up abruptly 
against the dark sky were the Northern Fortress 
and Wang-tai Hill. In front of us lay a natural 
stronghold, and we were in a caldron- shaped hol- 
low. But still we marched on side by side. 


"The Twelfth Company forward!" 

I turned to the right and went forward as in a 
dream. I remember nothing clearly of the time. 

"Keep the line together! " 

This was my one command. Presently I ceased 
to hear the voice of Corporal Ito, who had been 
at my right hand. The bayonets gleaming in the 
darkness became fewer. The black masses of sol- 
diers who had pushed their way on now became 
a handful. All at once, as if struck by a club, I fell 
down sprawling on the ground. I was wounded, 
struck in my right hand. The splendid magnesium 
light of the enemy flashed out, showing the piled- 
up bodies of the dead, and I raised my wounded 
hand and looked at it. It was broken at the wrist; 
the hand hung down and was bleeding profusely. 
I took out the already loosened bundle of band- 
ages, * tied up my wound with the triangular piece, 
and then wrapping a handkerchief over it, I slung 
it from my neck with the sunrise flag, which I had 
sworn to plant on the enemy's fortress. 

Looking up, I saw that only a valley lay between 
me and Wang-tai Hill, which almost touched the 
sky. I wished to drink and sought at my waist, but 
the canteen was gone; its leather strap alone was 
entangled in my feet. The voices of the soldiers 
were lessening one by one. In contrast, the glare 

1 The " first aid " bandages, prepared by the Red Cross 
Society, issued to every soldier as part of his equipment. 

of the rockets of the hated enemy and the frightful 
noise of the cannonading increased. I slowly rubbed 
my legs, and, seeing that they were unhurt, I again 
rose. Throwing aside the sheath of my sword, I 
carried the bare blade in my left hand as a staff, 
went down the slope as in a dream, and climbed 
Wang-tai Hill. 

The long and enormously heavy guns were tower- 
ing before me, and how few of my men were left 
alive now! I shouted and told the survivors to fol- 
low me, but few answered my call. When I thought 
that the other detachments must also have been 
reduced to a similar condition, my heart began to 
fail me. No reinforcement was to be hoped for, 
so I ordered a soldier to climb the rampart and 
plant the sun flag overhead, but alas! he was shot 
and killed, without even a sound or cry. 

All of a sudden a stupendous sound as from an- 
other world rose around about me. 


A detachment of the enemy appeared on the 
rampart, looking like a dark wooden barricade. 
They surrounded us in the twinkling of an eye and 
raised a cry of triumph. Our disadvantageous 
position would not allow us to offer any resistance, 
and our party was too small to fight them. We had 
to fall back down the steep hill. Looking back, I 
saw the Russians shooting at us as they pursued. 
When we reached the earthworks before mentioned, 


we made a stand and faced the enemy. Great con- 
fusion and infernal butchery followed. Bayonets 
clashed against bayonets; the enemy brought out 
machine-guns and poured shot upon us pell-mell; 
the men on both sides fell like grass. But I cannot 
give you a detailed account of the scene, because 
I was then in a dazed condition. I only remember 
that I was brandishing my sword in fury. I also 
felt myself occasionally cutting down the enemy. 
I remember a confused fight of white blade against 
white blade, the rain and hail of shell, a desperate 
fight here and a confused scuffle there. At last I 
grew so hoarse that I could not shout any more. 
Suddenly my sword broke with a clash, my left 
arm was pierced. I fell, and before I could rise a 
shell came and shattered my right leg. I gathered 
all my strength and tried to stand up, but I felt as 
if I were crumbling and fell to the ground perfectly 
powerless. A soldier who saw me fall cried, "Lieu- 
tenant Sakurai, let us die together." 

I embraced him with my left arm and, gnashing 
my teeth with regret and sorrow, I could only watch 
the hand-to-hand fight going on about me. My 
mind worked like that of a madman, but my body 
would not move an inch. 


THE day of the 24th of August dawned upon 
a battle-ground covered with the dead and 
wounded of both sides. I discovered that the man 
in my arms was Kensuke Ono, a soldier whom 
I had trained. He was wounded in the right eye 
and pierced through the side. Thinking that he 
could not live, he had called my name and offered 
to die with me. Poor, dear fellow! My left arm that 
embraced him was covered with dark red clots of 
blood, which was running over Ono's neck. Ono 
removed my arm, quietly pulled out his bandages, 
and bound up my left arm. Thus I lay surrounded 
by the enemy and seriously wounded ; there seemed 
no slightest hope of my escape. If I did not expire 
then, it was certain that I should soon be in the 
enemy's hands, which meant a misfortune far more 
intolerable than death. My heart yearned to com- 
mit suicide before such a disgrace should befall 
me, but I had no weapon with me, no hand that 
could help me in the act. Tears of regret choked 


"Ono, please kill me and go back and report 
the conditions," I urged him. I begged him to kill 
me, but he would not consent. He was almost 
blind, for both his eyes were covered with blood, 
but he grasped his rifle and said, "I resist your 

I expostulated with him and explained our posi- 
tion, saying that the enemy had changed their at- 
titude to a counter-attack and we were already 
surrounded by them ; beside that, we had gone far 
into the enemy's ground since the previous night, 
so that if we remained in that helpless state we were 
sure of being made prisoners. Then I asked him 
how he felt about becoming a captive of the Rus- 
sians, and told him that it was a far greater mercy 
to me who could not move a limb for him to kill 
me at once and make good his escape. But Ono 
was already losing his reason and simply continued 
saying, "I resist your orders." There was no other 
help, and I resigned myself to dying where I was. 
At the same time I was extremely anxious to send 
Ono and let him report the condition of affairs at 
the present moment. So as a means to make him 
go I said, " Bring me a stretcher and I will go," and 
urged him to hurry up. Of course I knew full well 
that, since that incarnation of love in the shape of 
a stretcher company could not reach the ravine, 
much less could it come to this spot encircled by 
the enemy, my only hope was that he might thus 


have a chance of returning alive to our main body 
and also of reporting my death. Ono, in a state of 
frenzy, jumped up at my words, and saying, " Please 
wait here," ran over to the earthworks and dis- "* 
appeared. Would he successfully go through the 
enemy's investment, back to our main position? 
Later, when I found him in a hospital, I was aston- 
ished at his good fortune. 

I was thus left lying alone surrounded by dead 
and dying. This moment was the most hallowed, 
the most painfully sad, and the most exasperating 
in my life. I repeated to myself Nelson's words, 
"Thank heaven, I have done my duty!" and com- 
forted myself with the idea that, though doomed to 
failure, I had done my whole life's work. I thought 
of nothing else. I was only conscious that the life- 
blood of a man twenty-five years of age was fast 
flowing to its speedy exhaustion, but did not feel 
the pain of the wounds at all. A number of the 
Russians were going to and fro in the trenches only 
a few ken from me and firing at our surviving men, 
each Russian using five or six rifles in turn. While 
I was watching their action with wide-open eyes, 
one of them turned back and noticed my being 
still alive. He signaled to the others, and three or 
four shots visited me at once. They fixed their 
bayonets and came jumping toward me. I shut 
my eyes. I was about to be butchered. My body 
was not of iron and stone to begin with, and its 


limbs were shattered and had no power to resist 
or chase the enemy. I could not escape from the 
poisonous teeth of the wolves. But Providence had 
not forsaken me yet. At this critical moment I only 
heard the din of a close fight near me, but was 
spared the point of an unknown savage's bayonet. 
As they rushed toward me, five or six of our sur- 
vivors encountered them, fought them, and all 
fell. And I who had had nothing but sure death 
to wait for was saved at the cost of my poor com- 
rades' lives. By this sacrifice was my faint breathing 

At this juncture a man jumped up the earth- 
works with a loud yell, and his sword raised high 
in the air. Who was this brave fellow who stormed 
the enemy's trenches single-handed? I was aston- 
ished at his audacity. But alas ! a shot came flying 
from somewhere, hit him, and he fell at my right 
side, as if crumbling down. He faced death as if 
returning home. He had jumped up there bravely 
all alone to seek death, and attracted the enemy's 
attention by his triumphant cry. 

After a while the shells from the Japanese army 
began to burst briskly above our heads. Percus- 
sion balls fell around us and hurled up smoke and 
blood together. Legs, hands, and necks were cut 
into black fragments, and scattered about. I shut 
my eyes in perfect resignation and prayed that my 
agony might be put to a speedy end by my being 


shattered to pieces all at once. Still no shell came 
to break my flesh and bones, but only small frag- 
ments came and injured my already wounded 
limbs. One wounded soldier who was near me re- 
ceived one of those horrible fragments on the face. 
He writhed for a few minutes, then fell on his face 
and expired. Every moment I expected to meet a 
similar fate ; or to be eaten by the hungry dogs and 
wolves of the field, half dead, half alive, yet unable 
to resist my fate. I was being picked off inch by 
inch by the fierce eagle of the north. I heard some 
one crying " Nippon Banzai " at my head. I opened 
my eyes and dimly discovered that is was a poor, 
wounded man. His reason was all gone, yet he did 
not forget to shout Banzai for his Fatherland. 
He repeated Banzai over and over again, and also 
shouted "Come, come, Japanese soldiers!" He 
danced, jumped, and shouted in frenzy until he 
was exhausted, then he closed his lips and his 
color began to fade. I shut my eyes and prayed 
that he might go in peace. 

The blood from my wounds had dyed my body 
red all over. My arms were bandaged, but all the 
other wounds were left uncovered. Sometimes I 
shut my eyes in quiet thought and again opened 
them to stare about me. To my left I saw two 
Japanese soldiers lying dead under the flying Ris- 
ing Sun. Probably the flag had been planted there 
by these two heroes, but if our men pushed forward 


to it, the enemy were sure to shoot them down; 
while, if the Russians attempted to retake the spot, 
they were equally sure of being killed by our artil- 
lery. This dauntless pair had kept the spot unto 
death, and they must have died smiling and con- 
tented at their success. Is this not a fine piece of 
poetry in itself? What poet will sing these heroes 
to posterity! 

As I was faintly smiling over this poetic sight of 
the battle-field, I saw the most brutal act com- 
mitted that I could have imagined. Ah, men and 
women of a civilization of justice and mercy, please 
remember this fact! I have already told you of a 
savage Russian who butchered Captain Yanagawa 
wantonly. Here again, before my very eyes, I saw 
a Russian commit a most deliberate act of cruelty 
and barbarism. I had noticed a Russian officer 
repeatedly pointing to his wounded leg and making 
signs with his hands for help. Later I saw a Jap- 
anese hospital orderly, himself wounded, go up to 
the Russian. Without attending to his own wound, 
he took out bandages from a bag at his waist and 
bandaged the Russian. He did his duty of love 
and mercy faithfully, thinking that the wounded 
foe was not a foe any more, only a hero who had 
toiled for his own country. His kindness in dress- 
ing the wound of the Russian was so beautiful and 
holy that tearful gratitude was due to him even 
from a hard-hearted savage. But how did this 


Russian return the kindness of this hospital orderly ? 
Tears of gratitude ? No ! A hand-shake of thanks ? 
No! Indeed, no! Lo, this beastly Russian officer 
bestowed a pistol shot upon his Japanese bene- 
factor! Do not forget this, you people of justice and 
humanity! As soon as the orderly had finished 
bandaging, the Russian pulled out his revolver 
from his hip and took the life of the good Samaritan 
with one shot! My heart was bursting with indig- 
nation at the sight of this atrocious outrage! 

But my indignation, my exasperation, could not 
be translated into action. I simply shut my eyes 
and gnashed my teeth; soon my breathing became 
difficult. I felt that my life was fast ebbing, when 
some one caught hold of my coat and raised me; 
after a minute I was let alone. I slightly opened my 
eyes and dimly saw two or three Russians going up 
the hill. I had been on the point of being made 
a prisoner! That very moment when I was raised 
and laid down was the boundary-line between my 
life and death, between my honor and disgrace! 
The enemy caught hold of me once, but soon let me 
go ; probably they thought I was dead. No wonder 
they thought so, for I was covered with blood. 

Then some one came running stealthily to my 
side and fell down without a word. Was he dead ? 
No, he was simply feigning death. After a while 
he whispered in my ear: "Let us go back. I will 
help you." 


In the midst of my panting, irregular breathing, 
I looked at the man. He was a stranger to me, a 
private with his head bandaged. I replied to his 
very kind offer and said that I could never get back 
alive under the circumstances, and wished him to 
kill me and go himself if he could. He said that he 
could not expect to get me back alive, but that he 
would at least carry my body; he would not allow 
it to be left among the enemy. As soon as he had 
said this, he caught my left arm and put it on his 
shoulder. At this juncture, the brave fellow who 
was lying at my right, and who had been groaning 
for some time, said in a faltering, tearful voice : 

"Lieutenant, please give me the last cup of 
water." My heart was bursting with emotion, and 
I fell down by his side in spite of my helper. 
This poor fellow was probably one of my men; he 
asked me to send him out on his last journey. Poor, 
poor soul! Of course I could not force myself to 
go and leave my poor comrade alone. 

"Have you any water?" I asked my helper. 
Whereupon he took out his water bottle, stepped 
over my chest, and poured water into the mouth 
of the dying man, who put his shattered hands to- 
gether as in supplication and murmuring "Namu- 
Amida-Butsu! l Namu-Amida-Butsu!" like a faint 
echo, slowly drew his last breath. 

I had no heart to leave behind other comrades, 

1 "I adore thee, O Eternal Buddha!" 

dead or wounded, and seek my own safety. But 
my kind helper grasped my left arm once again, 
raised me on his back, and in one bound leaped 
over the earthwork, when both of us went down 
with a thud. Quickly he picked up an overcoat 
and covered me with it, and again in silence lay 
down by my side. In this way I was taken out of 
the trenches on the back of an unknown soldier. 
It was while being thus carried that my legs touched 
a corner of the earthwork, and I felt excruciating 
pain for the first time. After a while he whispered 
to me again, "As the shot are coming fast now, we 
must wait a little." He unsheathed his bayonet and 
bound it as a splint to my broken leg with a Japan- 
ese towel. I was very thirsty and wanted to drink; 
he gave me all that was left in his bottle, saying, 
" Don't drink much." And also he soothed me often, 
saying, "Please be patient awhile." I saw many 
comrades groaning and writhing about me, and my 
kind helper would pick up water bottles scattered 
over the place and give them drink. Often he 
would feign death to escape the enemy's eyes, and 
lie down quickly, covering me with his body. I did 
not yet know even the name of this chivalrous man. 

" What is your name ? " I asked. 

" My name is Takesaburo Kondo," he answered, 
in a whisper. 

"Which regiment?" 

"I am in the Kochi regiment." 


I was being saved by a gallant soldier, who was 
neither my subordinate, nor of the same regiment 
as myself, and whom I had never seen before. What 
mysterious thread of fortune bound him and me 
together? I could not explain the mystery, but I 
do know that it was the friendly, brotherly spirit 
pervading all ranks of our army that produced 
such a man as Kondo, whose name should be 
handed down to posterity as a model soldier and a 
heroic character. A few hours after I had been 
rescued, I fell into a state of complete unconscious- 
ness. When at last I recovered my senses, the first 
thing that came to my mind was the beloved name 
of Kondo. 

Brave Takesaburo! He not only rescued me 
from the encircling enemy of Wantai, but also with 
great difficulty carried me to our main position. It 
was daytime and the place was exposed to the 
Russian machine-guns. He himself was wounded. 
If he had left me there, me whose life was more 
than uncertain, and escaped to a safe place by him- 
self, things would have been much simpler for him. 
But he had sworn to help me, and that promise was 
more important to him than his own life. He braved 
every danger, bore every difficulty, and with won- 
derful tact and sagacity made use of every possible 
device in my rescue, and he was under no personal 
obligation to me. For a while he covered and pro- 
tected me with his body, then he said to me: 


"Although a great many shot are still falling 
about us, we must not stay here till night, or the 
enemy are sure to come and kill us. We must go 
now. Please consider yourself already dead." -j 

He wrapped me up with an overcoat and beckoned 
to another soldier near by. The wounded man came 
crawling to my side and, when he saw me, said: 

"Are you not Lieutenant Sakurai?" 

I did not know who he was, but he must have 
been of the same regiment as myself, since he knew 
me. He said to me, "How badly you are injured!" 
and whispered with Takesaburo. Then I was car- 
ried away by these two men and left behind me 
Wantai, now the grave of the unconsoled spirits 
of my dear comrades, thinking all the time that it 
was a great shame to go back alone, leaving the 
dead and wounded friends behind. My two helpers 
would lie down every five or ten steps as if they 
were dead, and try to deceive the enemy's vigilance. 
While being thus carried I felt no pain, only a very 
unpleasant grating of broken bones. We went past 
wire-entanglements and breastworks, and in the 
burning, straight, noonday rays of the sun, I was 
finally brought to a ravine a little below the wire- 
entanglement, and I thought the place was the foot 
of Kikuan. 

I was laid down here for some time, and at last 
began to feel faint and dizzy, and everything went 
out of my consciousness as in sleep. This was 


caused by the profuse bleeding. At this time I was 
counted among the dead; the report of my death 
reached home. My teacher, Mr. Murai, placed the 
postal card I had written to him in the family 
shrine 1 and offered to my spirit incense and flowers, 
as I have since been told. 

For some hours I was practically dead in this 
ravine, but the gate of the other world was still 
closed against me and I began to breathe once more. 
The first thing that I heard was a tremendous noise 
of a heavy cannon-ball falling near me, throwing 
up sand and pebbles, and covering me with dust. 

I felt that it was this roar that called my spirit 
back into this world. As soon as I recovered con- 
sciousness, my wounds began to hurt terribly. I 
tried to move my comparatively sound right leg, 
but it would not move; the blood gushed out of 
it and coagulated over it. I noticed that a sun 
flag was spread over my face as an awning and that 
Takesaburo Kondo was still by my side watching 
me. I thanked him for his faithful service with 
tears of gratitude. 

He fastened poles to the overcoat wrapping me 
and begged four or five wounded men who hap- 
pened to come along to help carry me to the first 
aid. Lifting a corner of the flag that covered my 
face, he said: "Lieutenant, it seems that my wound 

1 The " Buddha Shelf," the shrine in the house where are 
kept the tablets of the dead. 

is not a serious one, as I am not going to the rear. 
Your case is serious. Please take good care of 
yourself and become well again," and he left me at i 
last. I never saw him again. ! ' 

Did I take his hand and thank him for his gallant 
service ? No; I could not. I only wept for his good- 
ness with unbounded gratitude in my heart and 
prayed that he might be spared. "To share the 
shadow of the same tree, to drink from the same 
stream of water," is said to be the promise of meet- 
ing again in another world. But he voluntarily 
threw himself into the boiling caldron of danger 
and rescued me out of certain death; he was truly 
the giver of my renewed life. My present life is not 
mine at all ; I should have died in Bodai surely: 
that I now live is due to Takesaburo Kondo alone. 
Kondo was killed within a month after this! His 
spirit is now too far away to see me, whom he res- 
cued amid such great difficulties and dangers. 
When I think of this I cannot cry out my sorrow 
or talk about my sentiments, because both the cry 
and the words become choked in my throat. 

During the night four or five wounded soldiers 
took advantage of the darkness to carry me past 
the enemy's front to the first aid, which they found 
with difficulty. I was still faint and in a dreamy 
state and could not take in much; the only thing I 
remember is that I was put on a stretcher, without 
removing overcoat and poles on which I had been 


borne thus far. At last I was laid down in a spot 
where people were busy running to and fro. That 
was indeed the first aid station. As soon as I real- 
ized this, I cried out : 

" Is Surgeon Yasui here ? Surgeon Ando ? " 

"I am Ando! Yasui is also here!" was the im- 
mediate response. I did not expect to find these 
friends here, but simply called their names as in a 
dream, the names so dear to my heart. But the 
strange, mysterious thread that tied us together in 
friendship drew me to their place and put me under 
their care a thing that could never be planned 
or mapped out in the battle-field, where separation 
and dispersion is so universal a rule. Heaven 
granted me a chance to meet them in my time of 
need. At this unexpected hearing of their voices 
my heart beat high. 

"Surgeon Yasui! Surgeon Ando!" 

They took my hands and stroked my forehead 
and said: "Well done. You have done well." 

I noticed that the body of my battalion com- 
mander, Major Kamimura, was lying to my left. 
When attacking the first skirmish-trenches, he was 
standing in the farthest front and cheering us on. 
And that same brave officer was now a spiritless 
corpse sleeping an eternal sleep here, his servant 
clinging to his body, crying at the top of his voice. 

Soon I was bandaged and sent to the rear, and 
had to say an unwilling farewell to the two surgeon 


friends whom I had come across to my unexpected 
and unbounded joy! 

When I met Surgeon Yasui later, he told me 
something of my condition at the time I was taken 
to the first aid : 

"The position of that first aid station was such 
that none of us expected to find any of the wounded 
of our detachment brought there ; yet I was enabled 
to take care of you ; that is the strangest of strange 
happenings. I had asked about you of the wounded 
men as they came in, and all said that you must be 
dead. There was one even who affirmed that you 
were killed below the wire-entanglements of Kikuan. 
So I had concluded that I should never see you 
again in this world of the living, but wishing to 
recover your body, I made careful inquiries about 
where you were killed all to no purpose. Later, 
a sergeant by the name of Sadaoka came in, and I 
asked him about you and got the answer that you 
had been killed in the ravine of Kikuan. At once I 
dispatched some hospital orderlies to bring your 
body back on a stretcher, but it was too dark, and 
the enemy's fire was still violent, and they came 
back without accomplishing anything. Still anxious 
to get you, I sent out a second group of orderlies, 
who brought you back, still living, to our great sur- 
prise and joy. At the first glance we thought that 
you must die in a few hours, and Surgeon Ando 
and I looked at each other in sorrow. There- 


fore, when we sent you on to the field hospital, 
of course we thought it was an eternal good-by in 

" About a month after that I saw Takesaburo 
Kondo, who had rescued you, and a strange coinci- 
dence it was. I noticed a soldier passing our first 
aid station, shouldering a shovel. Suddenly the man 
fell face upward. I ran to the spot and saw that it 
was your Takesaburo Kondo. He was a special 
object of my respect and love, because I knew that 
he had saved you out of the enemy's grip. He was 
still breathing faintly, so I gave him a drink from 
my water bottle; then he smiled and expired in 

Thus the giver of my second life, Takesaburo 
Kondo, lost his noble life by a stray shot ! 

Our first general attack came to a close with 
these horrors. The second and the third repeated 
similar scenes or even more horrible ones. But our 
army was not discouraged; on the contrary, the 
repeated failures only added to their keen deter- 
mination and abundant resourcefulness. Our army 
attacked again and again the desperately defend- 
ing enemy, and at last took the great fortress. I 
have no right to speak about the investment of Port 
Arthur after this first assault. There are others 
better fitted to relate that great chapter of the war. 
For about three hundred days after this I was kept' 


in bed, unable to move my hands or to stand on my 
feet. But in the agony of physical pain I was run- 
ning to Liaotung in imagination, picturing to my- 
self the brave and loyal officers and men fighting 
gallantly in the field. And on the second day of 
the Happy New Year of the 38th of Meiji I heard 
the news that the great fortress of Port Arthur, 
considered the strongest east of Suez, and the for- 
midable base for the Russian policy of the aggres- 
sion on Eastern Asia, no longer able to resist the 
tremendous power of the Imperial forces, had 
capitulated, and its commanding general had given 
himself up to the mercy of General Nogi. When 
I heard this news, not only I, but all the wounded 
who had taken part in the siege, wept while we 
rejoiced. The bleached white bones of our brave 
dead that filled the hills and valleys of Port Arthur 
must have risen and danced with joy ! The spirits 
of those loyal ones who died unconsoled, crying 
"Revenge!" or "Port Arthur!" must have been 
lulled to eternal rest by this great news. 

When I heard of the capitulation of Port Arthur, 
I cried with an overwhelming joy, and at the same 
time there came to me the thought of the great 
number of my dead comrades. I who had had the 
misfortune of sacrificing the lives of so many of 
my men on the battle-field, how could I apologize 
to their loyal spirits ? I who left many brethren on 
the field and came back alone to save my life, 


how could I see without shame the faces of their 
surviving relatives ? 

The war is now over, the storm has ceased ! The 
blood of brave warriors has bought this peace. The 
time may come when the hills of Port Arthur are 
razed to the ground and the river of Liaotung is 
dried up, but the time will never come when the 
names of the hundreds of thousands of those loyal 
officers and patriotic soldiers who gave their lives 
to the sovereign and to the country will be for- 
gotten. Their names shall be fragrant for a thou- 
sand years and lighten ten thousand ages; their 
merits posterity shall gratefully remember for ever 
and ever! 



KNOW ye, Our subjects: 

Our Imperial Ancestors have founded Our Empire 
on a basis broad and everlasting and have deeply and 
firmly implanted virtue; Our subjects ever united in 
loyalty and filial piety have from generation to genera- 
tion illustrated the beauty thereof. This is the glory 
of the fundamental character of Our Empire, and herein 
also lies the source of Our education. Ye, Our subjects, 
be filial to your parents, affectionate to your brothers 
and sisters; as husbands and wives be harmonious, as 
friends true; bear yourselves in modesty and modera- 
tion; extend your benevolence to all; pursue learning 
and cultivate arts, and thereby develop intellectual 
faculties and perfect moral powers; furthermore ad- 
vance public good and promote common interests; al- 
ways respect the Constitution and observe the laws; 
should emergency arise, offer yourselves courageously 
to the State; and thus guard and maintain the pros- 
perity of Our Imperial Throne coeval with heaven and 
earth. So shall ye not only be Our good and faithful 
subjects, but render illustrious the best traditions of 
your forefathers. 

The way here set forth is indeed the teaching be- 


queathed by Our Imperial Ancestors, to be observed 
alike by Their Descendants and subjects, infallible for 
all ages and true in all places. It is Our wish to lay it 
to heart in all reverence, in common with you, Our 
subjects, that we may all thus attain to the same virtue. 
The 3oth day of the loth month of the 23d year of 

[Imperial Sign Manual. Imperial Seal.] 



THE Army of this country, in ancient times, stood 
from generation to generation under the supreme com- 
mand of the Emperor. More than two thousand five 
hundred years have passed since the time when the 
Emperor Jimmu suppressed the barbarian tribes of 
the central provinces, and established himself on his 
Imperial Throne. The expedition was under the su- 
preme command of the Emperor himself, and was 
composed of warriors of Otomo and Mononobe, the 
most illustrious warrior-clans of the day. 

Military reorganization often was necessitated in 
subsequent ages by the vicissitudes of the times and the 
needs of the country's wars; but throughout Our an- 
cient history, the Emperor was always the regular com- 
mander. His place in the field was sometimes taken by 
the queen or the crown prince, but the supreme com- 
mand of the Army was never intrusted to a subject. 

In the Middle Ages all administrative matters, 
whether military or civil, were copied from China: 
six garrisons were organized, and two depots for horses, 
and a system of frontier guards were likewise estab- 
lished. The organization of the army was thus excel- 


lent on paper; but the long continuance of peace ruined 
the efficiency of the army, farmers and soldiers became 
two distinct classes. 

The warriors imperceptibly changed into a profes- 
sional caste, popularly called bushi, the principal men 
of which became the permanent leaders of the army; 
and the general chaos of the national life placed the 
chief powers of the Government in their hands, and 
kept them there for close upon seven hundred years. 

No human power could probably have arrested this 
turn of Our national life; and yet it was a thing much 
to be regretted as being entirely out of harmony with 
Our national constitution and the rules laid down by 
Our ancestors. 

After the periods of Kokwa (A. D. 1844) and Ka-ei 
(A. D. 1848) the Government of the Tokugawa House 
became too feeble to bear the responsibilities of na- 
tional government, and a critical period was made 
more critical by the petitions for admission and inter- 
course which came from foreign nations. These cir- 
cumstances caused great anxiety to Our Grandfather, 
the Emperor Ninko, and Our Father, the late Emperor 
Komei. When, not long afterwards, We ascended the 
throne in Our youth, the Shogun Tokugawa returned 
his authority into Our hands, and the lesser Barons 
likewise restored to Us their territories. Thus, in less 
than one year, the whole country came once more under 
Our direct control, and We were thus enabled to restore 
again the old system of Government. This great result 
was due in part to the meritorious services of Our loyal 
subjects of all classes who aided Us in the accomplish- 
ment of this great work, and partly to the mercy which 

every Emperor of this country has felt for Our people; 
but the basis of the whole work now successfully ac- 
complished has been the fact that Our people them- 
selves have a just knowledge of right and wrong and 
rightly apprehend the meaning of true loyalty. 

During the fifteen years that have elapsed since 
then, We have reorganized Our military and naval sys- 
tem, and formed Our present army and navy in order 
to make Our country glorious. The army and navy is 
now under Our direct command, and though partial 
commands may from time to time be intrusted to some 
of Our subjects, the supreme command will always re- 
main with Us. We desire you to remember this fact, 
and to let your descendants know that the Emperor 
is Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, so that 
the country may never again have to go through the 
ignominy of the Middle Ages. 

We are your Commander-in-Chief and as such We 
rely upon you, as upon Our own hands, and We desire 
you to look upon Us as your Head, so that the relation 
between Us may be one of absolute and sincere confi- 
dence and trust. Whether We perform Our duty or 
not, depends entirely on the manner in which you per- 
form yours. If Our country fails to stand high in the 
opinion of other nations, We desire you to share in Our 
sorrow. If it rises with honor, We will enjoy the fruits 
of it with you. Stand firm in your duty: assist Us in 
protecting the country; and the result must be the pros- 
perity of the nation, and the enhancement of Our coun- 
try's reputation. 

This is not all We wish to say to you. We have more 
advice for you, as follows:-^- 


1. The principal duty of soldiers is loyalty to Sover- 
eign and Country. It is not probable that any one born 
in this country will be wanting in patriotism; but for 
soldiers this virtue is so essential that unless a man be 
strong in patriotism he will be unfitted for this service. 
Disloyal men are like dolls, however expert and skillful 
they may be in their military art and science; and a 
troop which is well trained and led, but lacks patriot- 
ism, is like a band without a chief. The protection of 
the country and the maintenance of its prestige must 
rest upon Our military and naval forces: their effi- 
ciency or deterioration must affect, for good or for ill, 
the fate of Our nation; and it is therefore your duty not 
to entangle yourselves with social matters or political 
questions, but strictly to confine yourselves to the ob- 
servance of your principal duty, which is loyalty, remem- 
bering always that duty is heavier than a mountain 
(and so to be much regarded), while death is lighter 
than a feather (and therefore to be despised). Never 
spoil your good name by a violation of good faith. 

2. Soldiers must be polite in their behavior and 
ways. In the army and navy, there are hierarchical 
ranks from the Marshal to the private or bluejacket 
which bind together the whole for purposes of com- 
mand, and there are also the gradations of seniority 
within the same rank. The junior must obey the senior, 
the inferior must take orders from the superior, who 
transmits to them Our direct command, and inferior 
and junior officers and men must pay respect to their 
superiors and seniors, even though they be not their 
direct superiors and seniors. Superiors must never be 
haughty or proud towards those of a lower rank, and 


severity of discipline must be reserved for exceptional 
cases. In all other cases superiors must treat those be- 
neath them with kindness and especial clemency, so 
that all men may unite as one man in the service of the 
country. If you do not observe courtesy of behavior, 
if inferiors treat their superiors with disrespect, or su- 
periors their inferiors with harshness, if, in a word, the 
harmonious relations between superiors and inferiors 
be lost, you will be not only playing havoc with the 
army, but committing serious crimes against the country. 

3. It is incumbent on soldiers to be brave and cour- 
ageous. These two virtues have in this country been 
always held in very high esteem, and are indeed indis- 
pensable to Our nation: soldiers, whose profession it is 
to fight against the foe, should never for one instant 
forget that they must be brave. But there is a true 
bravery and a false one, which is totally different, and 
the rough behavior of youth cannot be called true 
bravery. A man of arms must always act with reason 
and make his plans with sang-froid and care. You 
must never despise even a small body of the enemy; 
on the other hand, you must never be afraid of large 
numbers; it is in the accomplishment of duty that true 
bravery lies. Those who thus appreciate true bravery 
will always behave with moderation towards others 
and will earn the respect of all men. If you act with 
violence you are not truly brave, and will be hated by 
others like a tiger or a wolf. 

4. Soldiers are required to be faithful and right- 
eous. Faithfulness and righteousness are among the 
ordinary duties of men : the man of arms can scarcely 
exist in the army without them. By the former is meant 


the keeping of one's word, by the latter, the accom- 
plishment of duty. Hence, if you wish to be faithful 
and righteous, you must first consider whether a thing 
may be done or not. If you promise to do something 
the nature of which is uncertain, and so entangle your- 
self with others, you will be in an embarrassing situation 
which may drive you to become unfaithful or unright- 
eous; and in such a case you will have no remedy, but 
only vain regrets. 

Before embarking on any action, you must first con- 
sider whether it is right or wrong to do such a thing, 
and then take a firm stand upon reason. If you have 
reason to think that you cannot keep your word, or 
that the duty is too heavy, it will be wise if you refrain 
from action. The history of all ages gives us examples 
of the truth of this: many great men and heroes have 
perished or dishonored themselves by trying to be 
faithful and righteous in small things and mistaking 
fundamental reason, or by observing individual faith- 
fulness at the expense of justice. You must take heed 
not to fall in this way. 

5. It is incumbent upon soldiers to be simple and 
frugal. If you do not observe simplicity and frugality, 
you will become weak and false-hearted, and accus- 
tom yourself to luxurious habits which lead to cupidity. 
In that case your mind will become ignoble, and neither 
your loyalty nor your bravery will avail to save you 
from the contempt and hatred of your fellow men. 
This is one of the greatest sources of human misery, 
and if this evil be once allowed to seize hold of the army 
and navy, it will promptly spread like an epidemic, and 
all esprit de corps and discipline will be broken through. 


We have been very much concerned about this, and 
have issued disciplinary regulations designed for the 
prevention of luxury; and now Our constant concern 
leads Us to tender you this advice which We desire 
you to keep in mind. 

The above Five Articles must never for a moment 
be neglected by you, and you will require a true heart 
to put them into practice. The Five Articles are the 
spirit of the man of arms, and the true heart is the spirit 
of the Five Articles. If the heart be not true, good words 
and good conduct are nothing but useless external or- 
naments. If the heart be true, you can accomplish 

The Five Articles form indeed the ordinary path of 
human society, and there is nothing in them that can- 
not be easily practiced and observed. 

If you serve Our country in accordance with this 
Our Advice you will give satisfaction not only to the 
Nation but to Ourselves. 


WE, by the Grace of Heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated 
on the Throne occupied by the same Dynasty from 
time immemorial, do hereby make proclamation to all 
Our loyal and brave subjects as follows: 

We hereby declare war against Russia and We 
command our army and navy to carry on hostilities 
against that Empire with all their strength, and 
We also command all Our competent authorities to 
make every effort in pursuance of their duties, and in 
accordance with their powers, to attain the national 
aim with all the means within the limits of the law of 

We have always deemed it essential to international 
relations and made it our constant aim to promote the 
pacific progress of Our Empire in civilization, to 
strengthen Our friendly ties with other states, and to 
establish a state of things which would maintain en- 
during peace in the Extreme East and assure the future 
security of Our Dominion without injury to the rights 
and interests of other Powers. Our competent authori- 
ties have also performed their duties in obedience to 
Our will, so that our relations with the Powers have 
been steadily growing in cordiality. It was thus en- 


tirely against Our expectation that we have unhappily 
come to open hostilities against Russia. 

The integrity of Korea is a matter of constant con- 
cern to this Empire, not only because of Our traditional 
relations with that country, but because the separate 
existence of Korea is essential to the safety of Our 
Realm. Nevertheless, Russia, in disregard of her solemn 
treaty pledges to China, her repeated assurances to 
other Powers, is still in occupation of Manchuria and 
has consolidated and strengthened her hold upon three 
provinces, and is bent upon their final annexation. 
And since the absorption of Manchuria by Russia 
would render it impossible to maintain the integrity of 
Korea and would in addition compel the abandonment 
of all hope for peace in the Extreme East, We deter- 
mined in those circumstances to settle the question by 
negotiation, and to secure thereby permanent peace. 
With that object in view, Our competent authorities, 
by Our order, made proposals to Russia, and frequent 
conferences were held during the course of six months. 
Russia, however, never met such proposals in a spirit 
of conciliation, but by her wanton delays put off the 
settlement of the question and by ostensibly advocat- 
ing peace on the one hand while she was on the other 
extending her naval and military preparations, sought 
to accomplish her own selfish designs. 

We cannot in the least admit that Russia had from 
the first any serious or genuine desire for peace. She 
has rejected the proposals of Our Government; the 
safety of Korea is in danger, the vital interests of 
Our Empire are menaced. The guarantees for the 
future which We have failed to secure by peaceful 


negotiations We can only now seek by an appeal to 

It is Our earnest wish that by the loyalty and valor 
of Our faithful subjects, peace may soon be perma- 
nently restored and the glory of Our Empire preserved. 

[Imperial Sign Manual.] 

[Privy Seal.] 
February 10, 1904. 

[Signed by the Minister of State.] 


U . S A 



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